An Ohio native and future Hall of Famer, LeBron James proves again that he can defy age as he scored 48 to lift Lakers narrowly defeated Houston Rockets. For more Allstar contents here!
Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers pushed for a 140-132 victory to push the tanking Houston Rockets to lose their eleventh game in a row. The home team also ended their three-game skid in their MLK Day matchup against the very young Houston Rockets. The L.A team was in full mode and in control of the majority of the game — increasing the lead for as much as 16 points – however, the Turkish Center, Alperen Sengun also showcased his potential and made a historic career night with 33 points and 15 rebounds to keep Houston in the game. He provided an NBA All star players caliber output, breaking the history record held by Hakeem Olajuwon by being the youngest player to score 30 and 15 in a game.
However, the 38 year-old was sensational all night, getting buckets after buckets, scoring 48 points and going 5-10 from deep and his Robin, Russell Westbrook was not affected by the last game late blunder, as he scored 24 points and five rebounds with zero turnover. The Los Angeles Lakers are now 20-24, sitting at the 13th in the very tight Western Conference, with just three games differential from getting sixth seed. On the other side, Houston Rockets fell to a 10-34 record and were in a deep race for the Wembanyama sweepstake quest.
Throughout the game, offense was the major focus of the Lakers and defense was optional, which is kind of rare and weird now given the fact that Head Coach Darvin Ham is specializing and focusing on defense — this is also the major reason why there starting center Thomas Bryant was put in early foul trouble and had to be subbed out. Luckily for the home team, the sub-player Wenyen Gabriel had a season night, scoring 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench, similar to Kendrick Nunn who looks like on a track to redeem himself as he scored 15 points.
The Purple and Gold continued their dominance in the second half with an 8-0 run start. This second half start was a good indication for the Lakers to eventually win this game, after a series of ugly basketball in the first 24 minutes, careless passes, ugly baskets, the team’s mentality of “Winning is winning” remained throughout the game.
Meanwhile, the young Houston squad was on a silent 12-2 run midway through the quarter and absolutely dominated the entire paint, thanks to the presence and reliability of Sengun, who scored 20 points in the first half and held the Rockets throughout the game. LeBron James came back into the game and ended the mini drought to go on a 9-1 run to end the ugly first half with a 73-61 score.
The second half remains to be favored on the side of the Los Angeles Lakers as LeBron remains on the floor in order to have a consistent advantage against the Houston Rockets. The visiting squad stayed in the game until the end, they even had another mini 9-0 run midway through the fourth. Wenyen Gabriel earned his sixth foul to leave the game with 2:41 left. The rim was unprotected and Houston took advantage and continued to attack as they cut lead by two, but Russ scored a fastbreak dunk and a pull-up jumper from LeBron to finally close out the game and send Rockets to 11-game losing streak.
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