Rockets Beat Lakers in Easy Win for Houston

Dwight Howard thoroughly enjoyed his first road game against the team he left as a free agent after one tumultuous and contentious season, getting 20 points and 13 rebounds in the Houston Rockets’ 134-108 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night that extended their winning streak to eight.

The streak is Houston’s longest since a franchise-record, 22-game run in 2007-08 under coach Rick Adelman. James Harden scored 11 of his 29 points in the final 1:25 of the third quarter and added 11 assists.

Wesley Johnson scored 24 points for Los Angeles, and Kendall Marshall had 20 points and 16 assists. The injury-ravaged Lakers remained tied for last place in the Western Conference with Sacramento at 18-36 and are 5-23 since Dec. 20, when they beat Minnesota to get back to the .500 mark at 13-13.

It was Howard’s third game against the Lakers since leaving the organization to sign a four-year, $88 million contract with the Rockets in July. Los Angeles offered him a five-year, $118 million deal to stay.

The eight-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year played 76 games last season, averaging 17.1 points and a league-best 12.4 rebounds despite residualpain from back surgery — compounded by an torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Jordan Farmar returned to the lineup after missing four games because of a sore hamstring, and Jodie Meeks was back in action after sitting out five games with a sprained right ankle.

Harden helped the Rockets build a 64-43 halftime lead with 15 points in the first game for both teams following the All-Star break. Howard added 14 points and 10 rebounds — the 10th time this season that he had a double-double by halftime. The biggest discrepancy was in second-chance points, with Houston holding a 19-0 advantage at the half and a 26-4 margin overall. They outrebounded the Lakers 56-32.

NOTES: Howard received a technical foul just 78 seconds into the game after dunking on Chris Kaman. … The Rockets were 18 for 35 on free throws, after attempting more than 50 in each of the previous two meetings. Howard was 5 for 16 in the first one, 10 for 24 in the second one, and 2 for 6 on Wednesday. … Bryant hasn’t played in any of the games against Houston since he and Howard became ex-teammates. In fact, he’s played in only six games altogether. The season series concludes on April 8 at Los Angeles. … The Lakers have lost seven games by margins of at least 20 or more points. … Harden scored at least 30 points in each of his previous four games against the Lakers. … Houston overcame a double-digit deficit in each of its previous seven wins against the Lakers, whose biggest lead in this one was just one. … The Rockets began a five-game road trip that will end right back here at Staples Center against the Clippers.

Written by Nick


Nick the Quick White is an avid fan of basketball and hip hop, and a contributing writer with WJS since 2013. Nick has interviewed rappers, ballers, rapper ballers, and baller rappers on the site and continues to preach that the NBA should have a team in Europe. Maybe because Nick currently lives outside London where to them Football is actually played with your feet, can you believe this fatuousness?

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