The Los Angeles Lakers took on the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night looking for their first road win of the season although they once again were severely shorthanded as Anthony Davis joined Gabe Vincent, Jaxson Hayes, Jarred Vanderbilt and Jalen Hood-Schifino on the inactive list due to a left adductor/hip spasm.
Regardless of who was out, the Lakers played with poor effort and the result was a 128-94 blowout loss to drop to 3-5 on the season.
Without Davis, the Lakers predictably got off to a slow start as the Rockets scored the first eight points before D’Angelo Russell got L.A. on the board with a layup.
The Rockets were hot early as Dillon Brooks and Jalen Green both drained early triples to extend their lead to 17-7. It marked the sixth time in eight games that the Lakers faced a double-digit deficit in the first quarter.
LeBron James went into attack mode from there though, going at Brooks for a midrange bucket and then drawing a charge on the other end.
One player the Lakers did get back in action was Rui Hachimura, who missed the last four games with a concussion. He came off the bench and quickly scored on a nice pass from Russell. He also made a 3-pointer later in the quarter although the Lakers struggled as a whole offensively and went into the second trailing 32-19.
Not much changed for the Lakers early in the second quarter as they continued to struggled on the glass and at the free throw line, which was the case in the first.
James found Hachimura for a pair of easy layups although Jalen Green quickly responded with five straight points to extend Houston’s lead to 47-29 with things starting to get out of hand. Taurean Prince hit a 3 to give the Lakers a much-needed bucket although it was immediately erased with Green making a 3 of his own.
The Lakers’ defense continued to struggle to close the half and they went into the locker room trailing 66-45.
If the Lakers wanted to make a run to get back in the game it would have had to come early in the third quarter. Unfortunately, Green and the Rockets stayed hot though while the Lakers couldn’t get much going offensively.
LeBron did his part by attacking the basket, completing a three-point play to get the deficit back to 20 midway through the third.
Every time it looked like the Lakers were about to make a run, the Rockets would answer right back and eventually led 99-71 at the end of three quarters.
With the game essentially out of reach, Darvin Ham waived the white flag early and the Lakers would go on to lose easily.