The Lakers have the missiles on the ropes.

When Anthony Davis requested a deal from New Orleans
Pelicans In February 2019 he aimed for a new team that would offer it
him championship aspirations.

So Davis took his time and finished this season patiently
on the bench before he was taken to Los Angeles to team up with LeBron
James. Davis knew he would get a chance to play with that in the postseason
Lakers, and now he's one win away from reaching the Western Conference Finals
For the first time in his seven year career.

"I knew when I was traded here we had a chance to be
successful, "said Davis." When I was traded here, I just thought
about winning. It's crazy, I thought about it today. I'm just a game away
of reaching the Western Conference Finals, a place I've never been
Career. It will be fun and exciting when we get there. We have another one
To win more game against a tough Houston team, but it's definitely something
I'm looking forward to."

Davis led the Lakers with 29 points when they defeated them
Rockets 110-100 in a wire-to-wire win in Game 4 of the Western Conference
Semi-finals on Thursday evening.

The Lakers changed the starting line-up for that
For the first time in the series, the decision was made to go small and compete with the Rockets from
Markieff Morris instead of center JaVale McGee start.

"We have decided to become smaller with Markieff."
said Lakers' head coach Frank Vogel about the decision to change the start

The move worked wonders, as the Lakers must have done
best first quarter defensive of the series, keeping the Rockets at just 22

The defense only got better than the Lakers from then on
The missiles were professionally dismantled and the lead expanded to up to 18 points
in the second quarter. At the end of the quarter, they again captured Houston’s offense
to only 19 points, which hinders former MVP James Harden.

"We're happy with what we're doing on the defensive."
said Vogel. "It can get better and better, but overall we're just trying
Limit hardening and make it as uncomfortable as possible. "

The Lakers stepped on the gas in the third quarter,
Increase the lead up to 23 points before fending off an angry one
Rockets comeback late in the game.

Led by a 19-2 run and fueled by five Lakers in a row
The missiles achieved sales within five points (105-100) with 50 seconds
remaining. Alex Caruso hit a three from the corner in 34.6 seconds
Remaining who stuck the dagger in Houston's comeback attempt and sealed it
Victory for Los Angeles.

“I've been practicing this corner three of 'bron all
Year, "said Caruso." To know that he will make the right decision
the end of the games and that they pack the color and I'll be in the wide open
Corner. It's just about having the cojones jump in and take the shot and
Don't be afraid to miss out. "

The missiles are now in a familiar position:
stare dead in the eye after eight consecutive postseason without elimination
Reaching the NBA Finals. Houston has reached the conference finals twice
this period of time, but now at the brink of this feat that slips through theirs
Reach for the third season in a row.

Again, after Chris Paul was exchanged for Russell
Westbrook and Clint Capela for Robert Covington and hug theirs
With the little ball mentality, Houston's head spins as another title shot comes by
the distance.

Distractions from space for the missiles previously mounted
Games 3 and 4. Rockets Reserve Guard Danuel House Jr. missed Game 3 for
"personal reasons," but a report surfaced just hours before the notice
of Game 4 that House Jr. was allegedly investigated by the NBA
Allow a COVID-19 test officer to come to his hotel room for a year
Overnight stay. House hasn't played in the series since Game 2 when he scored a goal
13 points from the bench in 27 minutes.

Now Houston will be plagued by a plethora of unanswered questions
Ask how they should be eliminated in Game 5. Can her small-ball style of
play successfully in the NBA playoffs? Are James Harden and Russell Westbrook one
ideal tandem two win a title?

"We know we are in a big hole now, but the next game is on
The game we have to win, "said Rockets & # 39; head coach Mike D & # 39; Antoni." It
was just a lack of spirit for the first three quarters tonight. When we go out
and put it on the line like we did in the fourth quarter, we'll be fine. "

Westbrook led the Rockets on Thursday with a team high of 25
Points. Meanwhile, Harden had his worst shooting game on the series
2 against 11 from the field for only 21 points in 16 free throws.

“We just have to perform better,” Harden said about
the overall disappointing performance of the team. "We have to be more
aggressive and it will lead to more opportunities offensively. "

LeBron James dropped one assist before another playoff
Triple-double with 16 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists. James
was the even-tempered and calculated veteran all night opening holes
for his teammates who spread the floor with his shooting and passed out
Duplicate teams to find his teammates for face-to-face shots like he did with Caruso
the game winner.

"The fact that we have so much faith in AC (Alex
Caruso), a guy who spent a lot of time in the G-League before this year,
I think it just helps your confidence to grow and grow and
growing, "said James." He plays meaningful minutes
the postseason for a team fighting for a championship. He's a guy that
We can rely on it, don't make a lot of mistakes on the floor and just play
Win basketball. I had no second guess as to whether I would hit him
this corner. He knows I trust him that he will
Knock down and he shot and did it. "

Caruso, a former G League player, was an afterthought
Stayed with the team a year ago, finished with 16 points from the bench.
Rajon Rondo, who played in his fourth game since March, had another star
Play with 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Even rookie Talen
Horton-Tucker saw his first action in the postseason and scored five points in
seven minutes from the bank.

For most of the night, Houston had no answers for the Lakers
when it came to the battle of the boards. Despite their size, the rockets are hanging
her hat on her ability to box and ricochet. After drawing also with the
Lakers in that category in Game 1 have since been surpassed 136 to 91.
Los Angeles doubled the rockets on rebounds in Game 4, 52 to 26, including 12 to 1
on the offensive glass.

"Rebound isn't always about size," he said
Bird. “I liked the fact that we made a boxing commitment. We held her on
just an offensive rebound. They do well. I was happy with ours
Commitment more than the fact that we had an advantage of scale over them

For the third time in a row, the Rockets shot better than
40 percent from the three-dot line. When he got on the show, Houston was one
Perfect 16: 0 when more than 40 percent are shot from a distance. she
have now lost three in a row while she remains hot of three.

The Lakers improved their free-throw shooting between Game 3
and 4. The Lakers finished 15 out of 16 (94 percent) from the charity strip in the

The Lakers can eliminate the missiles and end their season in
Game 5 on Saturday night at 5:00 p.m. PT.


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