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Rockets vs. Lakers recap: CP3 leaves with injury as winning streak ends at 14

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 20: James Harden
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 20: James Harden
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The Houston Rockets’ winning streak finally ended at the hands of the young Los Angeles Lakers last night 122-116.

The Rockets (25-5) saw rookie Kyle Kuzma drop 38 points on them as the 14 game winning streak is no more. The Lakers (11-18) pulled this off while missing two starters and starting three rookies in the lineup.

Speaking of the Lakers, they looked as solid as they have all season last night. Everyone available in purple and gold that played contributed to the victory. Los Angeles looked fresher and more focused, even taking a lead as big as 22 at one point. Let’s take a look at the stats:

Notable stats

James Harden: 51 points, 9 assists, 4/6 from three

Eric Gordon: 21 points, 4 rebounds, 5/12 from three

Trevor Ariza: 18 points, 11 rebounds, 6/14 from the field

Kyle Kuzma: 38 points, 4 assists, 7 rebounds, 7/10 from three

Recap

While the night belonged to Kyle Kuzma and the Lakers, there was another player who had himself a night as well. Enter, James Harden and his 51 points. But even that wasn’t enough to propel the Rockets to victory. It is worth mentioning that there were times on defense that Houston looked lethargic to say the least.

The Lakers weren’t the only team missing starters. The Rockets were without Clint Capela as he was nursing the sore heel he’s been dealing with. And a sight that no Rockets fan wants to see, Chris Paul leaving early in the fourth quarter with a sore left leg. It will be interesting to see how long he is sidelined for.

However, CP3’s injury was only a part of the fourth quarter struggles for Houston. As a matter of fact, the Rockets offense consisted of the following: Seven free throws and four field goals in the last eight minutes of the quarter. That is astonishing considering how formidable this offense has been thus far.

With that said, even in a loss, it was amazing to see Harden drop 50 once again this season. With his performance last night, Harden moves up past Elvin Hayes for the fourth spot on the Rockets all-time scoring list. Congrats Bearded one!

https://twitter.com/HoustonRockets/status/943671463814615040

Also noteworthy, Lonzo Ball had a decent game as he continues to perform well on the Lakers road trip. His stats: 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Highlights

James Harden, it seems, cannot be stopped. Here he is going to work once again:

https://twitter.com/HoustonRockets/status/943666551819038720

The most lethal one on one player in the league:

The Beard is heating up! pic.twitter.com/e7TI92AldS

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 21, 2017

Chris Paul with a nice pass to the big man, Nene:

.@CP3 ➡️ @NeneHilario42 pic.twitter.com/L448CfMoSx

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 21, 2017

Next: Does Tarik Black deserve more minutes?

Overall, it just wasn’t the Rockets night. But with the start they’re off to, it should be used as a lesson to never under estimate the opponent. Next up for Houston, the Los Angeles Clippers are coming to town on Friday night. That game will also be on ESPN! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for more Rockets!

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