Houston Rockets NBA

Big scoring from Harden not enough to push Rockets past Lakers

Houston Rockets Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball James Harden

Scoring definitely wasn’t the problem in the Houston Rockets’ season opener loss against the Los Angeles Lakers. With James Harden debuting as point guard, the Rockets put up a solid 114 points – not quite enough to top the Lakers’ 120.

The defense was where Houston lacked. They had trouble guarding Julius Randle, who scored 18 points and had seven rebounds, as well as D’Angelo Russell (20 points) and Jordan Clarkson (25 points and three steals). The Rockets’ poor defense isn’t a new issue, and it certainly isn’t an issue that’s being ignored; they do practice defense. They’re just not stopping the other team.

James Harden’s skills on offense might be enough to get the Rockets a few wins, but they won’t be a winning team until they stop the other teams from scoring. Still, you can argue that this was the first game of the season – the Rockets need time to get warmed up. They’d just better get warmed up quickly or they’ll find themselves playing catch up.

“It’s only one game,” said Harden. “We still trying to figure out both ends of the floor. I told the guys in order for us to win together, you got to lock in defensively. First quarter, first half, shake the rust off, but that second half we didn’t get stops when we needed to, and they made big shots.”

Listen to the guy who made 34 points and a career-high 17 assists last night.

What’s next?

The Rockets finish out this week with consecutive games against the Dallas Mavericks, then set off Tuesday on a five-game trip to Cleveland, New York, Atlanta, Washington, and San Antonio.

Related Articles

  • Leonard, Harden representing Texas in All-Star Game

    Leonard, Harden representing Texas in All-Star Game

    The 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend is upon us. There are events going on all day, with the All-Star Celebrity Game tonight at 6 p.m. This matchup features stars from film, television, music, and sports, and the teams are coached by ESPN personalities Michael Smith and Jemele Hill. The Rising Stars Challenge follows at 8 p.m.

  • Spurs rout Magic 107-79 heading into All-Star break

    Spurs rout Magic 107-79 heading into All-Star break

    It was an ugly game, one in which the Orlando Magic never had much of a chance. The San Antonio Spurs are just bigger and more physical than the Magic. Plus, Orlando was shorthanded Wednesday night. All that combined resulted in a Spurs victory, 107-79. The Magic just can’t seem to catch a break. They’re

  • Heat visit surging Rockets before All-Star break

    Heat visit surging Rockets before All-Star break

    Photo Credit: Chuck Burton / AP Photo The Miami Heat are trying to avoid going into the All-Star break with three straight losses. The only way they can do that is by beating the surging Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Houston’s coming into the matchup off of four consecutive wins. “It’s good for us,” All-Star guard James

  • Spurs edge Pacers for 20th straight winning season

    Spurs edge Pacers for 20th straight winning season

    Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock / USA TODAY Sports For the 20th consecutive season, the San Antonio Spurs have clinched a winning season – an NBA record. They reached this milestone with a 110-106 road win over the Indiana Pacers. All-star Kawhi Leonard finished with 32 points to lead his team to the victory. Between him, LaMarcus

  • Spurs, Pacers head into matchup coming off losses

    Spurs, Pacers head into matchup coming off losses

    Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock / USA TODAY Sports The San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers face each other tonight for the only time this season – and both teams are looking to bounce back from losses. The Pacers have lost three straight, after winning seven in a row. The Spurs lost Sunday to the New York

EXPLORE

TOPICS