King James, Playoff Rondo Stifle H-Town
After losing Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal matchup with the Houston Rockets, the Los Angeles Lakers are on a roll, winning their second consecutive game to take a 2-1 series advantage.
Here are the key takeaways from Tuesday's Game 3:
1. All hail the King
Game 3 might not have been classified as a must-win for the Lakers, but LeBron James sure treated it as such.
James poured in 29 first half points, thhe second-highest point total in a half in his playoff career behind a 30-point first half in Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics.
He also claimed sole posssesion of the most playoff wins in NBA history with the victory.
James finished the game with 36 points, a great sign for the Lakers considering they are 24-1 on the season when James scores at least 30 points, including 4-0 this postseason.
2. Playoff Rondo is real
Reserve point guard Rajon Rondo missed the Lakers' opening series against the Portland Trail Blazers, but so far in the second round, he is more than making up for lost time.
For the second consecutive game, Rondo was the difference-maker off the bench for LA, scoring 21 points and dishing out 9 assists.
Over the last two games, the Lakers are outscoring the Rockets by 35 points in the 59 minutes Rondo has played.
For the series, Rondo is now averaging 13.0 points and 7.0 assists, while shooting 50% from the field and 40% from three-point range.
3. Rockets can't take off from three
The Rockets are known for their three-point shooting and so far this postseason, they have proven they can and will get shots up from deep unlike any other team in the league.
In the playoffs, Houston is averaging 49.9 three-point attempts per game, but in Game 3, the Lakers defense limited the Rockets to only 30 attempts from beyond the arc.
Furthermore, the Rockets only connected on 12 of those attempts on Tuesday, the fewest number of threes they've made in a game this postseason.