LOS ANGELES—Former Los Angeles Lakers player Lou Williams got his revenge against the Lakers (20-48) on Wednesday, March 15 as he dropped a team high 30 points and helped the Rockets (47-20) hand the Lakers their second straight blowout loss 139-100.
The Lakers let an outstanding performance by Julius Randle go to waste as he scored a career high 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds while only playing 29 minutes. However, Randle and the rest of the Lakers needed more effort on defense. They started off bad, giving up 37 first quarter points, and ended even worse, surrendering 46 points in the final quarter. Head Coach Luke Walton voiced his displeasure with his team’s effort after another embarrassing loss.
“I don’t know if we think we’re too good to have to work like that (or) if we’re not willing to constantly commit. I don’t know what it is. But I’m not OK with it, because I have a fire burning in me that gets pissed off when you’re down 30-something,” Walton said. “And to watch (Houston) just grab a rebound, throw it up and get a fast-break dunk while they all laugh and celebrate — I’m not OK with that.”
Houston’s offense showed why they are the second ranked offense in the league. Thanks to their hot shooting, they got ahead quickly and never relinquished the lead. MVP candidate James Harden had a solid outing despite having nine turnovers, most of them on wild passes. He recorded his 17th triple double with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists.
Similar to their previous game against Denver, what really hurt the Lakers was the discrepancy in 3-point efficiency. The Rockets shot 41 percent from behind the arc, draining 18-43. The Lakers only managed to make 3-25 of their 3-point attempts. Williams, who had been in a shooting slump, contributed greatly to the Rocket’s 3-point success. He shot 7-9 from downtown, at one point making four straight.
“I’ve had some ups and downs. It’s been a while since I shot the ball that well. Tonight was just a good night for me. I felt confident in my shot,” said ex-Laker Williams.
Nick Young, who is known for his ability to shoot the three, showed no such signs of it last night. After getting no playing time against Denver on Monday, Young was not able to make the most of his start against the Rockets as he went scoreless, shooting 0-7 on threes. D’Angelo Russell also struggled mightily. Coming off the bench for the second straight game he scored a lackluster five points off 2-10 shooting.
Rookie Brandon Ingram continued to take advantage of his starting role by putting together another decent outing. He scored 18 points while going 8-14 from the field. He tried to stay positive about the Lakers prospects following this lopsided loss.
“We just have to keep getting better. It’s a process. Some of us have never been through this before, and the thing we’re going through right now will only make us stronger,” said Ingram.
The Lakers are 1-9 since the all-star break, with their sole win coming against the Phoenix Suns (22-46) who are also at the bottom of the Western Conference. This loss was the second time this season they were outscored by 39 or more points while still scoring 100.
Since the 2010-2011 season, they are the only team with that ignominious statistic. The Lakers will look to reverse this trend in their next game against the Milwaukee Bucks (33-34) on Friday, March 17 at 6:30 p.m.