The Rockets stayed in with the Lakers in the first quarter this time, finishing with a 33-32 lead after the first 12 minutes.
Russell Westbrook started strong and looked more like his old self as he aggressively attacked the basket. He finished the half with 17 points, three rebounds, four assists, two steals and shot 8 of 12 while making the single three pointer that he took in the half.
James Harden also did damage in the first two quarters, tallying 21 points, three rebounds, and six assists.
LeBron James was the main man for the Lakers, he had a huge first half with 29 points, two rebounds, three assists and shot 10 of 14 (with 4 of 5 threes). He hit from everywhere and was the main reason that the Lakers kept it close. It was his largest first half point total in both the regular season and playoffs this year.
Anthony Davis had 14 points, seven rebounds, and three assists at the half.
Houston added slightly to their lead by the break and were ahead 64-61 heading into the third quarter.
Both teams played hard defense as the third quarter stayed close, and there were a lot of ties and lead changes. Neither team found it in them to make a big scoring run to create any distance.
It was all tied at 82-82 going into the fourth quarter.
The Lakers were the ones who finally made a run, and they made it 99-87 with a little under seven minutes left in the game. The 17-5 run blew the game open. Their hounding defense kept the Rockets confused
Anthony Davis and Robert Covington both went down with under five minutes left in the game, which caused serious concern for both teams and forced a stoppage of play. Convington left the game.
James finished with 36 points, seven rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a game-leading four blocks. He also set another milestone, surpassing Derek Fisher’s record for most playoff wins in NBA history at 162.
Davis also had a good all-around game with 26 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and a steal.
Playoff Rondo also made an appearance in Game 3, and he contributed 21 points and nine assists.
The Rockets have only themselves to blame for the 112-102 loss. They shot terribly in the second half, and only scored 38 points in the final two quarters compared to their 64 points in the first half. They had no answer for when the Lakers turned up the defensive intensity.