NBA

Can LeBron James-less Lakers stop James Harden and beat Rockets?

Saturday, January 19 at 8:30 PM ET

Toyota Center

Coverage: ABC

The Los Angeles Lakers look to keep their momentum going when they visit the Houston Rockets on Saturday night. The Lakers have won their last two games while the Rockets are coming off a tough 145-142 overtime home loss against the Nets, despite 58 points from James Harden.

 

Lakers complete epic comeback against Thunder
The Lakers came back from 17 down to defeat the Thunder 138-128 in overtime last Thursday. Their offense was crisp with 37 assists on 50 made shots, led by 32 points, seven 3-pointers made and eight rebounds from Kyle Kuzma.

The rest of their young core shined as well, Ivica Zubac finished with a career-high 26 points and 12 rebounds, Lonzo Ball stepped up big with 18 points, 10 assists and six rebounds while making four 3-point shots, Josh Hart had 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists and Brandon Ingram added eight points and a career-high 11 assists. The Lakers really needed this win to get some confidence as LeBron James may be out awhile longer.

Rockets fall to Nets at home
James Harden (58 points, 10 rebounds, six assists) recorded his second straight 50-point game for the Rockets but it wasn't enough as the Nets prevailed 145-142 in overtime last Wednesday. The last player to score 55+ points in consecutive games was Wilt Chamberlain in 1962.

The Rockets attempted 70 3-point shots (made 23), shattering the league record of 61, which they held while the Nets attempted 36, making this the first game in NBA history that saw over 100 combined 3-pointers attempted (106).

The teams scored 287 points between them and this Nets squad full of castoffs that play with a chip on their shoulders trailed by eight with a minute to play in regulation and by seven with 1:28 left in overtime and they still won. James Harden looked visibly upset at the end of the game and understandably so, as he carried his team and they didn't give him enough help and let the game get away.

NBA Trends:

The Los Angeles Lakers are:

5-1 ATS in their last six road games against a team with a home winning percentage above .600

7-2 ATS in their last nine games after scoring more than 125 points in their previous game

The Houston Rockets are:

16-34-1 ATS in their last 51 games after scoring more than 125 points in their previous game

James Harden will likely go off for 50 points again but will he get enough help this time? The Rockets are still without Chris Paul and Clint Capela and while the Lakers won't have LeBron James, they have more weapons than the Rockets right now and they just hit 19 of 40 3-pointers against the Thunder, so they can keep up with the Rockets if this turns out to be a 3-point war and without Capela, the Lakers will dominate the paint with Ivica Zubac, Tyson Chandler and JaVale McGee.

NBA Pick: Lakers at Jazz Sports

Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzsportsON

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