LeBron James’ introduction to Staples Center took a turn near the end as three players were ejected after a brawl in the fourth quarter. The Houston Rockets’ Chris Paul, as well as the Los Angeles Lakers’ Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo, were all ejected after throwing punches after a late-fourth quarter foul.
The Lakers were unable to make up ground with two of their starters out for the remainder of the game and lost their home opener 124 to 115.
In an affair much like the season opener against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers were able to put up a lot of points thanks mostly to their fast pace but were unfortunately unable to get enough stops to get their first win of the season. The Rockets shot 45.8 percent from the field and shot 16 of 42 from behind the arc en route to their win. They also won the battle at the charity stripe, getting to the line 30 times against the Lakers’ 18.
James Harden scored 36 points to lead the Rockets. Paul added 28 points and 10 assists.
Meanwhile, the Lakers had their share of miscues as the team continues to adjust to its new personnel. The defense was the main culprit but once again, the Lakers shot poorly from three, hitting only eight of their 32 attempts. They missed seven of their 18 free throw attempts.
James finished the game with 24 points, five rebounds and five assists. Rondo added a double-double 13 points and 10 assists and JaVale McGee dominated the paint at times with 16 points and five blocks in his 20 minutes.
On the newest episode of the Lakers Outsiders podcast, Honi, Jacob and Grant discuss the game, the Lakers’ miscues through two games and their reactions to the fight.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and YouTube.