The Lakers and Rockets are all tied up.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined scored 62 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers survived a furious Rockets comeback to beat Houston [117-109] in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday night.
The Lakers seemingly played into the hands of the Rockets
Game 1 loss. Los Angeles didn't beat the rockets and they shot one less
Three-pointers against a team that shoots the most three per game in the entire game
The long ricochets from the Lakers' misses allowed the Rockets to exit during the break, where they used their superior speed to outperform the Lakers in transition.
It was a different story in Game 2 when the Lakers left theirs
The defense dictates its offensive at the beginning of the first quarter.
Los Angeles stopped the rockets in the first at just 20 points
Quarter when they led by up to 21 points in the first half.
As mentioned earlier, Houston lives and dies with the three-pointer.
They attempted 53 shots from outside the arc in Game 2, and 68 percent of all
Her shots came from within three-point range.
After the Rockets didn't fall in the first quarter, they began to hit their threesomes in the second and third quarters. At the end of the third quarter, they rose from 21 points to five points.
"We know this team has the ability to do 5 to 6 threes in a row and make a big run like they did in the third quarter," said Lakers head coach Frank Vogel. "We mustn't overreact to that."
Led by LeBron and Davis, the Lakers returned to the defensive in the final frame, once again allowing their defense to dictate their offensive.
"We stayed at home a little longer, messed up our reporting in the fourth and did a little better job getting to the shooters," said Vogel about the difference with the defense on the track.
They kept Houston down to just 17 points in the final quarter and got out in transition. They scored easy hoops on the edge to end the win.
"We wanted to make sure the three of them were taken," said Davis of the strategy in the fourth quarter. "They had about five to start the third and were back in the game. We wanted to get the ball out of James' hands. We could do that and get back to our defensive schedule."
James Harden led the Rockets with 27 points and Eric Gordon
had 24 points and shot 6-on-12 from three-point range in defeat. Houston
had six players in the double digits.
Davis had 34 points and 10 rebounds to top all scorers.
James was an assist ahead of another playoff triple-double, ending at 28
Points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in victory.
Markieff Morris was a perfect 4-on-4 from three points in the first half and finished with 16 points. Rajon Rondo had 10 points and nine assists and was the best +28 on the court.
"His influence on this team is measured in booty," said Vogel. "He was up 28 tonight and really devastated us defensively. We have to keep this team unprepared and that's exactly what he did. Just a great performance from Rondo."
The Lakers outperformed the smaller Rockets squad 41-35, had more assists 30-to-22, more steals, 11-to-7, more blocks, 5-to-2 and fewer sales, 17-to-15.
Lakers starting center JaVale McGee left the game in the third quarter with a left ankle injury and is undergoing an MRI. Guard Dion Waiters suffered a strained groin in the first half and did not return.
Game 3 takes place on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.