Photo by Troy Taormina/USA Today

Rockets Beat Lakers In Overtime Thriller

Harden scores 48 while Gordon scores 30 in comeback win

January 20, 2019 - 1:18 am

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- Down by as many as 21 in the first half, 18 in the second half, and nine with 2:45 to play, the Rockets battled back and beat the Los Angeles Lakers 138-134 in overtime Saturday night at Toyota Center. 

On the first possession of the game, Lonzo Ball found a cutting Kyle Kuzma for a layup to give the Lakers the lead 16 seconds into the game, and they'd hold that lead until Eric Gordon's double-clutched heave from 26-feet away with two seconds left in regulation. Without a timeout, the Lakers pushed the ball up the floor looking for a score that would win the game, but Lance Stephenson's Hail Mary hit off the side of the backboard to send the game to overtime. 

Houston scored the first six points of the extra period, thanks to threes from Gordon and James Harden, but the Lakers answered with six in a row to tie it. The Rockets took the lead for good when Harden split a pair of free throws with 32.7 seconds left as the Rockets improve to 26-19. 

Kuzma's layup started a 32-point night, 20 came in a first quarter that saw the Lakers lead 39-26 when it ended, and Ivica Zubac's turnaround hook shot with 3:39 left before halftime pushed the Lakers' advantage to 21, and the first half ended with Los Angeles leading 64-46. The Rockets shaved five points off the lead early in the third quarter only to see the Lakers build their endge back to 18, but Harden's triple with 8:08 left in the period started an 18-2 Rockets run, but they could never get over the hump, so the Lakers took an 86-82 lead in the fourth quarter. Houston couldn't gain any ground and trailed by nine when Brandon Ingram connected on a pair of free throws with 2:45 left, but the Rockets closed regulation with a 17-8 burst.

Gordon finished with 30 points, 10 came in overtime, but Houston was paced by James Harden's 48 point night, 22 came in the fourth quarter or overtime. He has now scored at least 30 points in 19 straight games. 

James Ennis added 18 points, while Gerald Green chipped in 17 points off the bench.

Ingram scored 11 of the Lakers 14 points in overtime and finished with 21 points. Zubac added 17 points and seven rebounds as the Lakers recod drops to 25-22.

Up next for the Rockets will be a trip north as they take on the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night.