Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers – NBA, September 8, 2020

By Admir Aljic in NBA
| September 8, 2020 1:20 am PDT

The Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from an opening loss to the Houston Rockets with a 117-109 victory in Game 2 and now are in a much better position for the remainder of the series. Frank Vogel’s side had a lot of ups and downs in Game 2, but they managed to win in the end and it’s all that counts. They are hoping to take a 2-1 lead with a Game 3 win, and the tip-off is set at 9:00 PM ET.

These conference foes have met on five occasions this season, and the Rockets are leading 3-2 overall. Take a look at my Rockets vs. Lakers betting prediction.

Rockets vs. Lakers Betting Odds

BET ODDS
Rockets +5 -110
Lakers -5 -110
Rockets to win +180
Lakers to win -200
Over 225.5 -110
Under 225.5 -110

The sportsbooks didn’t offer a bigger spread on the Lakers, even after their Game 2 win, so the spread on Los Angeles to win is currently at -5. The total is set at 225.5, which is a bit higher than 224 in the previous encounter. One of two games in this series went Over, so I wouldn’t recommend betting on points here.

Rockets Analysis

The Rockets were pretty bad in the opening 24 minutes and trailed by 16 points, but responded well in the third quarter and even took a five-point lead at one moment. However, the Lakers switched to a higher gear late in the game and secured a victory. Houston did score 22 triples opposite Los Angeles’ 12, but that was pretty much the only segment in which they were better than the Lakers.

James Harden led the Rockets with 27 points, team-high seven assists, and two steals. Eric Gordon scored 24 points, P.J. Tucker posted a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds, Robert Covington added 17 points, while Russell Westbrook recorded a double-double of ten points and game-high 13 boards, along with four dishes and two thefts.

Lakers Analysis

The Lakers opened Game 2 furiously after a Game 1 defeat, and it seemed they will get a win without trouble after the first quarter and 16-point lead. They maintained that lead at halftime, but then they allowed even 41 points in the third quarter, and their lead vanished.

Frank Vogel’s team approached the situation far more seriously early in the final quarter, and quickly restored a double-digit lead, and deservedly won in the end. The Lakers shot 56.6% from the floor and were better in both rebounds (41-35) and assists (30-22).

Anthony Davis recorded a double-double of 34 points and ten rebounds, along with four assists. LeBron James nearly had a triple-double as he posted 28 points, team-high 11 boards, game-high nine dimes, four thefts, and two rejections.

Markieff Morris added 16 points and five rebounds, Kyle Kuzma contributed with 13 points and six boards, while Rajon Rondo ended the tilt with ten points and game-high five steals.

Prediction and Pick

The Lakers looked much better with Rajon Rondo on the floor; Rondo had even +28 +/- in 29 minutes on the floor, and he is one of the most deserving players for the win in Game 2. With Rajon on the floor, LeBron has more space to attack the rim than to act as a playmaker, and it seems that he is more effective as a scorer, even though he is a top point guard when the situation asks him to be.

The Rockets can continue to shot from downtown like crazy, but that will not help them in this series. I reckon that Game 1 win will be their only one in the series. I am backing the Lakers to win again as I did in the previous game.

Pick
  • Los Angeles Lakers to win
    -200

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