The Houston Rockets were big underdogs in Game 1 and made the Lakers look foolish. Their 112-97 victory helped them draw first blood in the series, and certainly will have given them more confidence.
It wasn’t a complete surprise, either, considering that they won two of three regular season games against the Lakers, including one in the bubble. The Lakers’ last victory against this Rockets squad came on January 18.
Can the Lakers finally get that much-needed win? Catch Game 2 on Monday, September 7 at 8:30 AM (Manila time)
HOME TEAM: #1 Los Angeles Lakers (0-1)
The Lakers got pretty decent production out of LeBron James (20 PTS, 8 REB, 7 AST) and Anthony Davis (25 PTS, 14 REB).
Unfortunately, they couldn’t get much else out of the rest of the team. Alex Caruso (14 PTS) and Danny Green (10 PTS) were the only two others to score in double digits in Game 1.
They’ll be hoping to get a lot more production from secondary options like Kyle Kuzma, who did not play well in Game 1.
ROAD TEAM: #4 Houston Rockets (1-0)
Even though Robert Covington (at 6 foot 7) is often the tallest guy on the floor for the Rockets, they still seem to find a way to outplay the Lakers.
James Harden (36 PTS, 5 AST) did his usual damage on the offensive end in Game 1, and was helped by Russell Westbrook (24 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST) and Eric Gordon (23 PTS, 3 REB).
They’re going to need to maintain that production, but their small ball lineup seems to cause problems for the Lakers.
Harden and Gordon also both only play 32 minutes in the game, and Westbrook played for 34. That’s a good sign for them, but they’re going to want to continue to play fast and get the game out of reach as quickly as possible.
The Lakers can be slow starters at times, and the Rockets will want to take advantage of that.
The Rockets will continue to give the Lakers a hard time, but it should be a much closer in Game 2. Houston takes a 2-0 lead with a 114-110 victory.