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.
Their 3-point heavy style and small-ball defense is a scary matchup for a Laker team that has played big all season. The Rockets, meanwhile, looked much closer to their typical selves in Game 1. So much for size The one advantage the Lakers were supposed to have in this series was their size. Even if they got outshot from the 3-point line and the charity stripe, lost the turnover battle and couldn’t switch defensively, their big men were supposed to at least give them guaranteed edges in rebounding, rim-protection and paint scoring. The Rockets scored 42 points in the paint while the Lakers scored 40. Their spacing was completely and utterly compromised as LeBron James and Anthony Davis scored only 45 combined points, many of which came on jumpers. Neither provided much of anything in Game 1, and it showed as the Lakers struggled across the board. Harden’s redemption There’s no getting around it: James Harden was bad offensively in Game 7 against the Thunder.