Home SportsNBA Rockets vs. Lakers score, takeaways: James Harden scores 36 points, Houston jumps out to an early series lead

Rockets vs. Lakers score, takeaways: James Harden scores 36 points, Houston jumps out to an early series lead

by Ryan
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The Lakers were more rested, but the Rockets looked sharper

By Sam Quinn    CBS Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are now 0-for-2 in Game 1’s this postseason. After losing their opener against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, they got whacked by the Houston Rockets Friday, 112-97, to fall behind 1-0 in the series. The Lakers will have to hope that they can right the ship just as they did against Portland, but the Rockets are a far more dangerous opponent. Their 3-point heavy style and small-ball defense is a scary matchup for a Laker team that has played big all season. The Lakers had practically no space to work with offensively in this one, and it showed.

The Rockets, meanwhile, looked much closer to their typical selves in Game 1. They made 14 3-pointers and 20 free throws in scoring at will, and what became clear as the game progressed was how thoroughly they managed to control the terms of engagement. This series will be played on their terms. The Lakers can adapt, or they can exit the bubble.

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