Lakers defend Rockets with hands behind their backs

Tanya Simon
December 15, 2018

The Rockets are 13-14 this season and in 13th in the Western Conference, but are 2-0 against LeBron James' Lakers (17-11).

He was called for a foul after being knocked to the ground trying to defend Kuzma as he drove to the lane.

The Rockets set several screens to make sure Harden had a chance to get to 50 on a floater in the final minute.

Harden asked coach Mike D'Antoni for a little more rest than he regularly gets in the fourth quarter Thursday night. The last thing you want to do is give the best player in the National Basketball Association extra motivation the night you're going up against him.

Harden grabbed his 10th rebound with less than 90 seconds left to give him his second triple-double this season and the 37th of his career.

James Harden gave LeBron James a shoutout with a ridiculous snake-print shorts suit prior to Thursday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

James finished with 29 points for the Lakers, who had won their previous two games.

Gregg Popovich passes Pat Riley on all-time wins list
DeMar DeRozan was held to a season-low five points, but the 6-foot-7 guard attempted just six shots as he set up his teammates. Popovich also reached the 1,200-victory mark faster than any coach in National Basketball Association history (1,743 games).

In scoring 50 points, Harden paraded to the free-throw line 19 times, making 18 foul shots. Can put the ball in the hole multiple ways - drive, step-back 3s.

Houston's lead was three after Kyle Kuzma's soaring dunk, but Harden was fouled on a 3-pointer and made all three free throws to make it 112-106.

However, one thing that has been made clear leading up to Friday is that the Lakers have no intentions of parting with any of their young core unless a superstar player becomes available between now and the trade deadline on February 7. At times, they defended with their hands behind their backs.

According to statistics compiled by ESPN, Harden is one of only six players in National Basketball Association history to score 50 in a triple-double.

Chris Paul added 14 points and nine assists for the Rockets, Capela chipped in 16 points and 14 rebounds and Danuel House added 15 points off the bench.

The Dallas loss came in the season debut of Dirk Nowitzki.

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