Houston At L.A. Lakers
When: 9:30 PM
ET, Sunday, January 25, 2015
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a mediocre 3-3 stretch and are hoping a dramatic finish against the Phoenix Suns on Friday will propel them to another hot streak. The Rockets visit the struggling Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, two nights after star guard James Harden drained a 20-footer as time expired to record a 113-111 win over the Suns. Los Angeles enters with a seven-game losing streak and has lost veteran guard Kobe Bryant with a season-ending shoulder injury.
The Lakers will learn Monday whether or not Bryant needs surgery, but the season has already developed into one of the worst in franchise history. Los Angeles lost 99-85 to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday and a loss to the Rockets would match the longest skid since an eight-game losing streak from March 14-27, 2005. Harden is averaging 37 points over his last three games and his 33-point effort against Phoenix was his league-leading 20th 30-point outing of the campaign.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, ROOT (Houston), TWC SportsNet (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE ROCKETS (30-14): The status of center Dwight Howard is up in the air after he left Friday’s game with a sprained right ankle. “I really couldn’t put any pressure on it,” Howard told reporters. “But we got the win, so that’s the only thing that matters.” The former Lakers center left the building in Phoenix sporting a walking boot and had reached double digits on the boards in three straight games prior to the injury.
ABOUT THE LAKERS (12-32): Los Angeles began experimenting with the starting lineup against the Spurs as rookie Jordan Clarkson started at point guard and Ryan Kelly and Robert Sacre started in the frontcourt. Clarkson, a second-round draft pick, had 11 points and four assists in 29 minutes and coach Byron Scott was pleased with his performance. “He just looked like he was very poised and the moment wasn’t too big for him,” Scott told reporters.
1. Houston had notched four straight wins in the series until the Lakers recorded a 98-92 victory on Nov. 19.
2. Lakers PG Jeremy Lin didn’t get into the game on Friday as coach Byron Scott used Clarkson and Ronnie Price at the position.
3. Rockets F Josh Smith had 14 points against the Suns after averaging 5.5 on 5-of-15 shooting over the previous two games.
PREDICTION: Rockets 116, Lakers 93
Stats and Records
L.A. Lakers Off vs
99.6 Points For
99.3 Points Against