Rockets reaction: Lakers exploit leaky transition defense, poor shooting, turnovers

Heading into Sunday night’s home game against the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, several members of the Houston Rockets suggested that it would be a test to see where the team stands.

In the first of two straight games between the teams, things clearly didn’t go as planned. Led by 27 points (75% shooting) from Anthony Davis, the Lakers won at Toyota Center, 120-102 (box score). James Harden had 20 points and nine assists for the Rockets, while Christian Wood scored a team-high 23 points. Both shot 50% from the field.

LeBron James added 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists for the Lakers (8-3), who led by 19 points at halftime and pushed it to as large as 27 early in the third quarter. While Houston (3-5) did eventually make some runs, the deficit proved too large to overcome versus the NBA’s best.

In postgame interviews with Harden, Wood, and head coach Stephen Silas, themes of poor transition defense (27 transition points allowed in the first half, when Los Angeles scored 65 as a team) and subpar 3-point shooting (12-of-41, or 29.3%) were frequently cited. Here’s a roundup of Houston’s reaction to the first of two games with the Lakers.

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Stephen Silas

https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1348461762392240130 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1348462711286464514 https://twitter.com/clutchfans/status/1348463026916237312 https://twitter.com/AdamSpolane/status/1348463191869812742 https://twitter.com/AdamSpolane/status/1348463622062747654 https://twitter.com/cayleighgriffin/status/1348463627238567937 https://twitter.com/kimydavis/status/1348464301217107968 https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1348466454287556608

James Harden

https://twitter.com/Rockets_Insider/status/1348468105840914436 https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1348468959130120194 https://twitter.com/clutchfans/status/1348468611330035715 https://twitter.com/Rockets_Insider/status/1348473710282481667 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1348468584842932224 https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1348469622329241609 https://embed.sendtonews.com/oembed/?SC=UcJ3LP34ti-1103479-7498&format=json&offsetx=0&offsety=0&floatwidth=400&floatposition=bottom-right&float=on

Christian Wood

https://twitter.com/kimydavis/status/1348470710419775489 https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1348471502702850051 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1348469933907333123 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1348470410288001027 https://embed.sendtonews.com/oembed/?SC=AC6DNEY7Dn-1103481-7498&format=json&offsetx=0&offsety=0&floatwidth=400&floatposition=bottom-right&float=on

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