Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) shoots over Houston Rockets guard John Wall (1) in the second quarter at 12. January in Houston. (Troy Taormina/Pool Photo via AP)
Anthony Davis added 19 points and 10 rebounds in three quarters to help the Lakers earn their second straight win over the Rockets after Sunday night’s 120-102 victory.
We’ve played expansion basketball in our last two games and we’ve played … first half tonight, coach Frank Vogel said. Our defense was essentially one of execution and deterrence.
Los Angeles led by 20 or more for most of the game, while James Harden hit just 5 of 16 shots and outshot the Rockets 55-42.
We have a common goal of playing together every night, playing championship basketball and being responsible, James said.
The Rockets scored the first five points of the fourth quarter, but James’ three-point play ended a modest scoring run and led to a 100-76 score with 10 minutes left in the game ½. Then he went to the bank for good.
Christian Wood scored 18 points and eight rebounds and Harden scored 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a game where none of the Houston regulars played in the fourth quarter.
We didn’t bring the necessary intensity to the game, Houston coach Steven Silas said.
The Lakers won by six points in the first quarter and then scored the next 12 points, including five from James for a 28-10 lead with five minutes left in the quarter. After the first quarter, they led 35-14 and went into the half with a 71-48 lead.
Los Angeles took a 25-point lead early in the third quarter before scoring the next five points – a 3 and a block by Davis – to lead 95-65 with about two minutes left in the quarter.
Lakers: Bird said Davis hit his toe Tuesday night and the X-ray was negative, but he is questionable for Wednesday’s game. …Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Dennis Schroeder each scored 14 points.
Missiles: Danuel House, who missed the last four games due to back pain, was not with the team on Tuesday due to health and safety protocols. …DeMarcus Cousins had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Cousins and Markieff Morris of Los Angeles were fined Tuesday after an altercation during Sunday’s game that led to Morris’ eviction. Morris was fined $35,000 and Cousins was fined $10,000. The incident began when Morris knocked Je Shawn Tate to the ground in an alley with a hard shoulder in his chest, after which Cousins quickly knocked Morris to the ground. Cousins then turned and bent to help Tate off the platform as Morris stepped up, tackled Cousins and pushed him with both hands.
James wowed his teammates when he hit a 3 from the corner near the bench in the second quarter and turned his back to the basket when the ball went through the net.
Schroeder bet with him that he couldn’t do it, and since James didn’t have time to shake his hand to secure the bet, he said he had to face it.
I had to look him in the eye and I could win, James said laughing.
Silas clearly had a different reaction to the play.
They are clearly together and having fun at our expense, Silas said. So it’s not pleasant at all, and we should be outraged. It’s like they’re dancing in our backyard.
Lakers: Visit Oklahoma City on Wednesday night and then head home for two games beginning Saturday night against New Orleans.
Missiles: Start the away game with two games in San Antonio starting Thursday night and play only one of the next six home games.
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