Much the way they did in the opening round following a game 1 loss to the Portland Trailblazers, the Los Angeles Lakers opened game 2 against the Houston Rockets like a team on a mission. And that mission was to even up the series at 1 game apiece, as well as to send a message to remind everyone in the Western Conference just who they are. The one seed in the west played like it Sunday night, defeating the Houston Rockets 117-109 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate.
Lebron James scored 28 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and added 9 assists, and Anthony Davis led all scorers with 34 points on 15-24 shooting. Markieff Morris was huge off the bench for the Lakers scoring 16 points, meanwhile Rajon Rondo provided a big lift for LA in his second game back from injury. James Harden had another of his usual big scoring nights with 27 points, and Eric Gordon kept up his hot shooting, going 6-12 from deep on his way to scoring 24 points. The big story was the tough night for Russell Westbrook, who shot just 4-15 from the field for 10 points and committed 7 turnovers.
As a team the Rockets committed 17 turnovers to the Lakers 15. The rebounding numbers were close again but the Lakers finished with 5 more than Houston. Houston hit 10 more threes than the Lakers in game 2 after making only 3 more in 1.
The Lakers rode the momentum from a huge first quarter to a commanding 16 point halftime lead. It looked as the though the Lakers would cruise to the victory, but in the NBA, everybody makes a run and the Rockets did just that after halftime. They started the second half on a 14-0 run that cut the lead to 67-65 with 9:19 remaining in the 3rd quarter. They were able to take a 2 point lead into the fourth 92-90. The sense of security for the Lakers was gone.
Then, the 4th quarter started with a bang as Lebron got loose for a dunk, and LA was off to the races outscoring Houston 10-2 to open the quarter. From there they never looked back as James and Davis combined for 14 points in the 4th and the Lakers took the win.
On a night when both teams excelled at what they do best, it was the star power of Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers that simply outplayed Houston’s star duo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Game 3 will be Tuesday and the team that wins game 3 after the series is tied 1-1 wins the series almost 75% of the time, so both teams will be looking to take home a crucial win.