Rapid Reaction: Rockets 145, Lakers 130
April, 8, 2014
By Dave McMenamin
LOS ANGELES -- Dwight Howard missed his sixth straight game Tuesday because of a left ankle injury. Kobe Bryant missed his 53rd in a row because of his left knee.
That reunion between the former testy teammates will have to wait until next season.
Much like Los Angeles Lakers fans are left waiting until next season for a lot of things.
A healthy roster? An impressive draft prospect? A new coach? It all remains to be seen.
One thing is for sure, this season's squad set the bar low. The 2014-15 edition won't have to do much to clear it to show improvement.
The Lakers' loss on Tuesday was their 53rd of the season, setting a new mark for losses in a season since the team moved to L.A. and tying the 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers (19-53) for most losses in a season in franchise history.
How it happened: The Houston Rockets turned a five-point halftime lead into another blowout loss for the Lakers, starting off the third quarter 5-for-5 on 3-pointers (and ending the period 7-for-10 from deep) to take a 25-point lead into the fourth.
What it means: If it looked as though the Lakers didn't have anything left to play for Sunday when they were trampled by the Los Angeles Clippers, Tuesday's game only confirmed it. They are dead men walking out there.
Hits: With five assists in the first half, Steve Nash passed Mark Jackson for No. 3 on the all-time assists list, bringing his career total to 10,335.
Jodie Meeks had another big night for L.A. with 32 points on 12-for-21 shooting along with five assists.
After twisting his bum left knee in the Lakers' previous game, Nick Young came off the bench to tie Meeks for the team lead with 32 points on 11-for-19 shooting, including a 6-for-10 mark from deep.
Ryan Kelly had 18 points. Jordan Farmar, in his first game back from a right groin injury, had 15 points and eight assists off the bench.
Misses: The Lakers allowed the Rockets to score a season high for an opponent with 145 points on 57.7 percent shooting as a team.
Terrence Jones, who left the game early because of a left leg injury, and James Harden, scored 33 points apiece, shooting a combined 23-for-33. Harden also had 12 assists.
Stat of the game: 49. The Rockets scored 49 points in the third quarter, outpacing L.A. by 20 points in the period as they shot 18-for-24 (75 percent) as a team.
Up next: There are only four games left in the season for the Lakers -- two at home and two away -- starting Friday against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.