The Houston Rockets look to bounce back from their self-destructing loss to the Portland Trail Blazers when they face off against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
It’s been a fairly successful stint in the bubble for the Houston Rockets, as they’ve gotten off to a 2-1 start in Orlando. The Rockets pulled off come-from-behind wins in each of their first two games, starting with the Dallas Mavericks, who possess one of the best offenses in the league.
The Rockets’ second game featured a thrilling comeback victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, who are viewed as one of the best teams in the NBA. The Rockets’ third contest against the Portland Trail Blazers ended in defeat, in part because of their dismal showing from the free throw line, as they went 15-of-24 from the charity stripe, which was a measly 62.5 percent.
The Rockets’ fourth game will come against the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers, who are 51-16 this season, and 2-2 in the bubble. The Lakers have been outscored 421-397 in Orlando, and haven’t looked like the juggernaut many depicted them to be prior to the league’s shutdown.
LeBron James has averaged 19.3 points in the bubble, which could be problematic for the Lakers if that continues, as they’ve gone 6-7 this season when LeBron has scored fewer than 20 points. James has also poured in 6.5 assists per game in Orlando, which is much less than his league-leading 10.6 assists before the resumption of the season.
James struggled when the Lakers last faced off against the Rockets, as he was held to just 18 points and six turnovers, which was a game that resulted in a victory for the Houston Rockets. The Lakers have had a difficult time containing Russell Westbrook this season, as he’s averaged 38 points, 8.5 rebounds, and six assists, while the Rockets have split games against the Lakers, en route to a 1-1 record against the Western Conference leader.
Westbrook has officially been designated as questionable in the game, as he suffered a bruised quadriceps in the Rockets’ loss against the Portland Trail Blazers, which could force Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni to turn to his bench for an extended amount of playing time.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis have both landed on the injury report, although they’re both listed as probable to play. But with the Lakers on the second night of a back-to-back, and having already locked up the top seed in the Western Conference, many believe the Lakers’ superstar duo could play very little, if at all.
Here’s how to catch all the action:
How to watch the Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Location: The Arena (Wide World of Sports) – Orlando, FL
Date/Time: Thursday, Aug. 6 @ 8 PM CT
National TV: TNT
Local TV: Time Warner Cable SportsNet, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, TSN
Radio: ESPN LA 710 AM, SportsTalk 790