Takeaways: LeBron James, Lakers hold off Alperen Sengun, Rockets in closing seconds


As a three-game California road trip continues, the Houston Rockets (6-5) lost their second straight contest in Sunday’s 105-104 loss (box score) to the Los Angeles Lakers (8-6). The road swing culminates with Monday’s late game at Golden State.

Houston led for much of the first half, but LeBron James and the Lakers swung things with a 32-20 third quarter, which primarily took place with Alperen Sengun sidelined with four fouls.

Sengun tied the game with 4.0 seconds left on a bucket over James, but James won it with a free throw after drawing a foul on the ensuing inbounds play. Dillon Brooks unsuccessfully gambled for a steal, and the Rockets had little hope but to foul James at the rim.

Standout players for the Rockets included:

  • Alperen Sengun: 23 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists; 11-of-16 shooting (68.8%), 1-of-2 on 3-pointers (50.0%), +21 in 31 minutes
  • Fred VanVleet: 15 points, 16 assists; 5-of-14 shooting (35.7%), 3-of-10 on 3-pointers (30.0%)
  • Dillon Brooks: 24 points, 4 steals; 9-of-21 shooting (42.9%), 6-of-11 on 3-pointers (54.5%)
  • Jabari Smith Jr.: 14 points, 5 rebounds; 5-of-10 shooting (50.0%), 2-of-6 on 3-pointers (33.3%)

James led the Lakers with 37 points and 8 assists while shooting 14-of-19 overall (73.7%) and 2-of-5 on 3-pointers (40.0%). Anthony Davis added 27 points and 10 rebounds on 11-of-15 shooting (73.3%), though Sengun drew a sixth foul that forced an early departure.

Here’s our look at highlights and postgame interviews from late Sunday, along with reaction by media members and fans. Next up for Houston is Monday’s road-trip finale in San Francisco versus the Golden State Warriors. Tipoff is set for 9:00 p.m. Central.


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