With Game 1 victory, the Rockets have set the tone vs. the Lakers

Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Harden and the Rockets’ defense

James Harden gave Anthony Davis a stare down after he made a layup, which was very fitting, considering how much we had heard about how Davis was going to dominate the Rockets.

Harden’s night was huge, as he had a game-high 36 points on 12-of-20 from the field. The Lakers had a tough time defending Harden’s shot, as he was 3-of-6 from three. Harden defiantly set the tone, as he gave LeBron James a facial on a fast break.


Harden still believes the Houston Rockets’ defense will get them through the playoffs, as he stated during his post-game interview.

“Our defense. That’s what’s going to get us to where we want to go. I keep preaching it, but defensively if we’re engaged, this is one of the best teams in the west, if we can hold them to under 100 points defensively, we got something so.. just keep that same mindset,” as Harden stated.

The NBA's top defense in the playoffs pic.twitter.com/fkDuvEylGp

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) September 5, 2020

P.J. Tucker’s tone-setter was his defense, as he allowed both LeBron James and AD to only shoot 2-of-5 against him. Inside the AD-Tucker matchup, Tucker also caused two turnovers against AD.

Robert Covington recorded four steals and one block versus the Lakers, and has become the first player with at least 21 steals and 12 blocks through the first eight games of the playoffs since Ben Wallace in 2004, while also making 51 percent of his threes.

Next: Eric Gordon's dominance