National Basketball Association

Westbrook's Woes Sink Rockets

September 6

After two games, the playoff matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets is more than living up to the hype, as LeBron James & Co. evened things up at 1-1 with a 117-109 win.

Here are the 3 biggest takeaways from Sunday night's Game 2.

1. A tale of two halves

Through the first 24 minutes, it seemed the Lakers had things in the bag.

They built up a 16-point lead in the first quarter on 5-for-7 shooting from deep, and kept that same margin at halftime with 19 first-half fastbreak points, including the first Alex Caruso-to-LeBron alley oop of the evening.

But the Rockets responded in the third, outscoring Los Angeles by 18 to set up a frenetic final frame, thanks in large part to 19 combined points from Eric Gordon and James Harden.

Unfortunately for Houston, the fourth belonged to the Lakers. LeBron seized the momentum with P.J. Tucker taking a breather, first driving to the rim for a monstrous jam ...

Then throwing down a filthy alley-oop off of another lob from Caruso.

And that was all the Lakers needed to even the series – although LeBron added a dagger for good measure.

2. Far from his Bestbrook

Russell Westbrook did end up in double-figure scoring on Sunday night. It just took a free throw with a little over a minute remaining to get him there. The former MVP finished with 10 points on a 4-for-15 shooting night overall (and1-for-7 on 3s), plus 7 turnovers.

He was also the only Rockets starter with a negative plus-minus, as Houston was outscored by 14 points with Westbrook on the court in Game 2. By the fourth quarter, the Lakers were openly not guarding Westbrook, daring him to shoot.

Westbrook did manage to knife his way into the heart of the Lakers defense in the fourth quarter with the game still in doubt, but it did not end well for him at all.

3. The King climbs another all-time list

LeBron made just 1 3-pointer on 5 attempts on Sunday night, but that make was monumental.

In fact, it was a night of milestones for The King.

And the win made those all-time marks that much sweeter.


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