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 yesterday.
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 on 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 defence 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 five 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 10 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 three-pointer and a block by Davis, to make it 95-65 with about two minutes to go in the quarter.
Harden publicly acknowledged his discord with the Houston Rockets for the first time after the loss.
“We’re just not good enough. I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can,” Harden said. “I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”
Harden had remained quiet through months of speculation that he is unhappy in Houston. Numerous reports have indicated he’s looking to be shipped to Brooklyn to play with former Oklahoma City teammate Kevin Durant, who left and became an NBA champion with Golden State. For all his accomplishments, Harden is still seeking an NBA title.