The Houston Rockets look to build on a thrilling victory last time out when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday at Staples Center.
The Rockets recorded a 113-111 win over the Phoenix Suns Friday night and NBA leading scorer James Harden buried the game-winning jumper as time expired.
Harden (27.3 ppg) scored 33 points, handed out 10 assists and grabbed six rebounds for the Rockets, who bounced back from a loss to the Golden State Warriors and won for the seventh time in the last 10 games.
“We wanted to take the last shot,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “We flattened it out for James and James has been making big shots all year and he’s got the ability to step back and gather, strong and goes up and shoots it. It was a big shot for us. Up to that point, we had done some very interesting things to allow them back in the game.”
Donatas Motiejunas scored 15 points, while Patrick Beverley, Josh Smith and Corey Brewer recorded 14 apiece. The Rockets shot 52.4 percent for the game and are 15-7 away from home.
Houston will host the rival Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday and hopes to have Dwight Howard against the Lakers. Howard suffered an ankle injury in the win over the Suns and is listed as questionable.
“I really couldn’t put any pressure on it,” Howard said. “But we got the win, so that’s the only thing that matters.”
The Lakers are mired in a seven-game losing streak and closed out a four-game road trip with a 99-85 loss at San Antonio on Friday night. Nick Young scored 17 points off the bench to lead Los Angeles.
Wayne Ellington and Jordan Clarkson scored 11 points apiece for the Lakers,who shot just 39.8 percent. Kobe Bryant did not play because of a torn right rotator cuff and is expected to be done for the season.
“Yeah, I’m worried,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said of Bryant’s future. “We all in the organization are worried about it.”
NBA release 01/25/2015
Rockets vs Lakers