Surprised in Texas by these same Rockets two weeks ago, Lakers did not want to relive such a misadventure, while the race for the playoffs is about to deliver its verdict.
In bosses, teammatesAnthony Davis (40 points, 9 rebounds) and LeBron James (18 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds) therefore made sure to do the job at Houston (134-109), in order to clinch their sixth victory in seven games.
A result that allows Los Angeles to regain 7th place in New Orleans and to count three and a half games ahead of the 11th (Dallas), in this evening where the Wolves, the Mavs, then the Thunder lost.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
— Perfect evening for Los Angeles. With the defeats of the Wolves, the Mavericks and then the Thunder, we can say that the Lakers had a happy Sunday. Because with their success, easy and authoritarian moreover, the men of Darvin Ham are now less than a game behind the Clippers, 6th, whom they will face on Wednesday evening, in a capital derby. Better still: the “Purple & Gold” give themselves some air compared to 11th place and, barring disaster, we should at least see them participate in the play-in.
— Anthony Davis played against children. Hit in the ankle against the Wolves on Friday, “AD” had assured that he would be present against the Rockets and, to the great regret of the latter, he kept his word. Uncontrollable in the paint, the interior of the Lakers massacred the weak Texan racket, unable to oppose a defender powerful enough, mobile and large enough to hinder him. A new show of force from Davis, who has averaged 39 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks for three games (at 65% address)…
— Triple-double No. 107 for LeBron James. Getting better and better physically, the “King” took advantage of the Rockets’ defensive largesse to punish them without forcing scoring and creation, while taking advantage of their clumsiness to recover aerial balloons. Result: he recorded the 107th triple-double of his career, equaling Jason Kidd in the standings. Only Russell Westbrook (198), Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138) are doing better, certainly waiting for Nikola Jokic (105) to turn everything upside down.
✅ Rui Hachimura. If Anthony Davis spearheaded the Lakers last night, and LeBron James or Austin Reaves played at their own pace in his shadow, the Japanese was the X factor off the bench: 20 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks in 25 minutes! Omnipresent, he never stopped taking advantage of the Rockets’ absentee defense to heal his stats and confirm that he had a card to play in Darvin Ham’s rotation, given his profile. In confidence, would Rui Hachimura be making his mark in Los Angeles?
✅⛔ Houston. If basketball was only played on one side, the Rockets would probably have enough to aim for the playoffs, because their offense is capable of showing real good things in sequences. Unfortunately for them, it’s also a question of defense and that’s what gets them down most of the time. Unable to defend properly on transition, to hold the shock in the racket or to show a semblance of defensive regularity, the men of Stephen Silas quickly let go in front of the Lakers armada, yet far from being at its best level. Looking forward to the end of the season…
⛔ D’Angelo Russell’s injury. The only downside on the Lakers side tonight: the foot injury of “D-Lo”, who did not come back into play after halftime. He had compiled 6 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds (at 2/4 from 3-pointers) before that. After the meeting, however, Darvin Ham wanted to reassure everyone by explaining that it was above all a decision taken as a precaution. Los Angeles can blow.
Houston (19-60) : reception of Denver, on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday (02:00).
Los Angeles (40-38) : trip to Utah, overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday (03:00).
How to read the stats? Min = Minutes; Shots = Shots made / Shots attempted; 3pts = 3-points / 3-points attempted; LF = free throws made / free throws attempted; O = offensive rebound; D= defensive rebound; T = Total Bounces; Pd = assists; Fte: Personal fouls; Int = Intercepts; Bp = Lost bullets; Ct: Counters; +/- = Point differential when the player is on the field; Points = Points; Eval: player evaluation calculated from positive actions – negative actions.