The Houston Rockets will try to avoid losing consecutive games since early January against the injury-riddled Los Angeles Lakers.
The Houston Rockets are down to their last two games of the regular season. Before flying to Sacramento to take on the Kings on Wednesday, Houston has a meeting the Lakers tonight.
Outside of Houston’s 118-95 blowout win against Los Angeles on Dec. 3, the Lakers have played very well against Houston this season. On Dec. 20, the Lakers defeated the Rockets on their home floor behind a 38-point night from Kyle Kuzma.
Then, on Dec. 31, the Rockets squeezed out a 148-142 win against L.A. in double overtime. It took 40 points and 11 assists from James Harden and 28 points and 10 assists from Chris Paul to shut the door on the Lakers.
Currently, the Rockets have locked up the first seed and the Lakers are 11.5 games behind the last playoff spot. The Rockets are almost completely healthy, and they’ve secured home-court advantage throughout the entire postseason.
Mike D’Antoni will have to figure out if Harden and Paul will have their normal workloads against the Lakers. Eric Gordon is expected to play tonight after missing the last two games with a sore ankle, so he can take some of the pressure off of the stars. Although, D’Antoni may want to limit Gordon’s minutes in his return from an injury in such a meaningless game.
There’s an argument to be made that neither Harden or Paul should play again until the postseason. The Rockets will be judged based off of their success in the playoffs, and they’ll need to be healthy in order to insure that they come out of the west.
For the Rockets, Eric Gordon is probable after missing the last two games with a sore ankle. Ryan Anderson will miss yet another game due to a sprained left ankle.
For the Lakers, Brook Lopez is probable. Lonzo Ball (left knee) and Kyle Kuzma (sprained left ankle) are questionable after missing the last two games. Isaiah Thomas (hip surgery), Brandon Ingram (concussion protocol) and Luol Deng (sprained left ankle) are all out.