Here are five takeaways from the Lakers’ 119-117 win against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night at the Staples Center.
1. Lakers coach Frank Vogel called LeBron James a “game decision”, but the forward knew he was going to play.
James said he found his motivation by watching Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes play and while watching some NBA games on Monday night.
This led to James tweeting, “Man can’t wait to get engaged again tomorrow night.”
He made the hoop to lead the Lakers with 30 points and 10 assists.
After he retired 13 of 21, James was asked about the tweet. He was dealing with a sore right ankle that caused him to be listed as questionable in the Lakers injury report.
“Umm, I just felt like I spent 48 hours after Sunday’s game – in terms of my preparation, down to the ankle, before I could feel like myself again,” James said. “And I also got to watch the game on Monday night, watch Pat Mahomes throw the ball sideways, on the side with the defenders running at him, and also watch a bunch of NBA games at the same time. The contest juices were overflowing, so I sent out a tweet. “
James scored 10 points in a row in the fourth quarter, which put the Lakers ahead of a team they never lost. He finished fourth with 14 points.
“It changed the game. If you’re looking for one reason we won, it’s why, ”Vogel said. “Our defense is in the second half. And then he just took control of the offense during that stretch, made them run on timeouts, changed their defenses and assembled substitutes. It really put them on the back burner. “
2. In the first half, the Lakers gave 70 points, their defense was nowhere to be found. They saw the Rockets make 58% of their first-half shots, including 44.4% of their three-pointers.
In the second half, the Lakers played better on defense, losing only 47 points and 46.3% of the shots.
In the game, the Rockets threw 52.7% from the field, 38.1% from the three-point.
“Yes, trust the Rockets, buddy,” Vogel said. “These young guys came out and played tails. They had reacted to the heavy loss the night before. They made every shot, attacked the rim, played physically, challenged us. Our defense in the first half was not very good, but even when it was good, they hit hard. So give it to these guys. “
3. When Carmelo Anthony walks onto the Lakers’ bench, he usually breaks the rules instantly.
He was on that Tuesday evening.
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Anthony scored 15 points in 29 minutes 21 seconds. He was six to nine when shooting from the field, three to five on a three-point.
4. The Lakers have yet to improve on the free throw line, although they were 75% (15 of 20) on Tuesday night.
Malik Monk had a chance to put the Lakers ahead by three points in 6.6 seconds, but he did only one of two.
5. DeAndre Jordan played confidently when he was away from the bench.
He started the first six games at center, but Jordan has been a backup in the last two games, starting with Davis, now starting center, resting.
Jordan finished with eight points and nine rebounds.