Facing the same team in three nights is never easy, even the subjects at hand are the mighty Lakers and the rebuilding Rockets.
And man, it took some unlikely happenings for the Lakers to win this one by a 119-117 count.
For starters, LeBron James made three consecutive 3-pointers. James has been very good this season, but outside shooting has not been his forte early. It was on this night, though, and the Lakers needed every last basket he gave them from the perimeter.
Another oddity? How about rookie guard Austin Reaves blocking a shot to spark a fastbreak? That’s not something the Rockets, the Lakers or anyone in the basketball-rooting public would have expected.
But that’s just the kind of night in LA. Strange, but for the Lakers, doing enough right (barely) for another win.
James led the way with 30 points and 10 assists. He was, in a word, remarkable. It’s amazing the man can still do this one month before his 37th birthday.
“It was my job in the fourth quarter to bring us home and make plays,” James told Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet.
And don’t look now, but James, Davis and Westbrook each surpassed the 20-point plateau for the first time this season. Wonder if that will be a trend? Wonder if the Lakers will win every game by just two if they do?
Of course, the Lakers wouldn’t have won at all if Kevin Porter Jr.’s three at the buzzer had fallen through. It almost did.
Instead, the Lakers (5-3) emerged with their third straight win.
Carmelo Anthony continued his early-season hot streak with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and DeAndre Jordan added eight points and nine boards. Both of those performances came in reserve, and proved to count for a lot.
The Lakers, who have played a mere two road games so far, stay at home to face the Thunder on Thursday.