HOUSTON (AP)LeBron James scored 26 points in just more than three quarters and the Los Angeles Lakers never trailed in a 117-100 rout of the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.
Anthony Davis added 19 points and 10 rebounds in three quarters to help the Lakers to their second straight blowout over the Rockets after a 120-102 victory Sunday night.
”We played some brilliant basketball in stretches in both of the last two games and in particular in the … first half tonight,” coach Frank Vogel said. ”Our defense was really tight with our execution and containment.”
Los Angeles led by 20 or more for most of the game on a night James Harden made just 5 of 16 shots and the Rockets were outrebounded 55-42.
”We’ve got a common goal to compete every night, to play championship basketball and be accountable,” James said.
The Rockets scored the first five points of the fourth quarter, but a three-point play by James ended the modest run and made it 100-76 with about 101/2 minutes to go. He went to the bench for good after that.
Christian Wood had 18 points and eight rebounds and Harden had 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a game where none of Houston’s starters played in the fourth quarter.
”We didn’t bring the right intensity to the game,” Houston coach Stephen Silas said.
The Lakers were up by six in the first quarter before scoring the next 12 points, with five from James, to make it 28-10 with five minutes left in the quarter. They were up 35-14 after the first quarter and had a 71-48 lead at halftime.
LA had a 25-point lead in the third quarter before scoring the next five points, with a 3-pointer and a block by Davis, to make it 95-65 with about two minutes to go in the quarter.
Lakers: Vogel said Davis jammed one of his toes on Tuesday night and X-rays were negative, but he is questionable for Wednesday’s game. … Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Dennis Schroder had 14 points each.
Rockets: Danuel House, who had missed the previous four games with back spasms, was not with the team on Tuesday because of health and safety protocols. … DeMarcus Cousins had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Cousins and LA’s Markieff Morris were both fined on Tuesday following an altercation during Sunday’s game that led to Morris’ ejection. Morris was fined $35,000 and Cousins $10,000. The incident started when Morris knocked Jae’Sean Tate to the ground in the lane with a hard shoulder to the chest and Cousins quickly pushed Morris to the ground. Cousins then turned and was bending down to help Tate off the court when Morris jumped up, charged at Cousins and shoved him with both hands.
James wowed his teammates when he shot a 3 from the corner near the LA bench in the second quarter and turned his back to the basket as it swished through the net.
Schroder bet him $100 that he wouldn’t make it and since James didn’t have time to shake his hand to secure the bet, he said he had to face him to do it.
”I had to look him in the eye and I was able to win that one,” James said with a laugh.
Silas obviously had a different reaction to the play.
”They’re obviously a together group, and they’re having fun at our expense,” Silas said. ”So it doesn’t feel good at all, and we should take umbrage. It’s like they’re dancing on our homecourt.”
Lakers: Visit Oklahoma City on Wednesday night before returning home for two games beginning on Saturday night against New Orleans.
Rockets: Begin a three-game road trip with two games in San Antonio starting on Thursday night, and play just one of their next six games at home.
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