April 14, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

LeBron James and Lakers beat Rockets, remain perfect on road

The basketball court is everything to LeBron James. That 4,700 square feet of hardwood is where he ascended to iconic status, won championships and built a platform that’s allowed him to better the world.

And Tuesday night, he turned his back on it — if just for a second.

Standing in the corner in front of the Lakers’ bench, James calmly launched a shot, spinning around to face his teammates as soon as the ball left his hands. He didn’t watch it go in. Didn’t need to.

Swish.

The Lakers were so good they didn’t even have to watch all of their 117-100 win in Houston. The Rockets weren’t so lucky.

The two-game sweep ran the Lakers’ road record to 6-0, their best start since the 1984-85 season.

The can’t-miss triple highlighted James’ best half of the season. He scored 22 of the Lakers’ 71-first-half points, making four threes while assisting on four baskets.

It’s almost too bad that James’ highlight shot happened Tuesday, dwarfing what the Lakers’ defense accomplished in the first quarter, when it held the Rockets to 14 points.

Just like they did Sunday in Houston, the Lakers stifled the Rockets at the rim and on the perimeter, grabbing 10 steals, blocking 12 shots and tipping a handful of passes, scrambling Houston‘s offensive rhythm.

The Lakers weren’t wall-to-wall effective. Montrezl Harrell and Talen Horton-Tucker both missed dunks and James and Anthony Davis — maybe the scariest possible duo to see on a two-on-one — couldn’t score after what would be described as an “alley-oops.” It was one of the team’s 20 turnovers.

But the glitches were quickly repaired, the Lakers totally dominant for their second straight win in Houston. They led by as many as 30, effortlessly swatting away the Rockets just like Davis did to Sterling Brown at the rim.

James finished with 26 points and Davis with 19 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in only 29 minutes for both, a best-case scenario with the Lakers headed to Oklahoma City for a back-to-back Wednesday against the Thunder.