Preview: Lakers and Rockets to Fight on Thursday Night

Oct 20, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) throws a punch at Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) (behind Eric Gordon (10) during a fight in the fourth quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Winners of six of their last seven, the Lakers start a four-game road trip on Thursday night as they take on the Houston Rockets. The Rockets (12-14) look to get a win and start a climb back into playoff contention, while the Lakers (17-10) look to stabilize themselves as a top-five team in the Western Conference.

The last time that these two teams played, Rajon Rondo punched Chris Paul in the face and Brandon Ingram tried to kill everyone. All three of those players were suspended for a few games each, and a rivalry was renewed between two Western Conference powerhouses.

Since then, following a poor start, the Lakers have surged, finding themselves only a game out of first place in the Western Conference. The Rockets have had nothing but misfortune since, and are the worst team outside of the lowly Suns.

Rumors are circulating the NBA involving the Lakers and Suns’ forward Trevor Ariza and a potential trade. The Rockets have struggled mightily since letting Ariza walk in free agency. The Rockets’ woes since Ariza’s departure is perhaps the best reason for the Lakers to pick up the veteran forward, but Ariza has struggled himself since leaving Houston.

Also rumored is the Lakers interest in Carmelo Anthony, friend and banana boat companion of LeBron James. LeBron just shared the court with another boat buddy Dwyane Wade on Monday night and might find that Anthony’s presence on the team is just what he needs.

The Lakers *should* win the game, but any team can have an off-night. The Rockets *should* have been good this entire season but strangely have played some of the worst basketball I’ve seen this year. This entire game is just a large shrug emoji, but nevertheless, it’ll be a good one to watch.

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