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LeBron James, Lakers fall apart in OT in loss to Rockets

LeBron James’ return to the lineup didn’t help the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

In fact, the team may have sunk to a new low.

The Lakers, after forcing overtime at the Toyota Center, completely fell apart in the extra period of their 139-130 loss to the Houston Rockets. They gave up 19 points in overtime after opening on the wrong side of a 13-0 run, and looked completely out of it in the final minutes.

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This missed layup from Russell Westbrook and reaction from James was the perfect example of how bad things got.

“Our guys competed, they fought,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said, via The Athletic’s Bill Oram. “We get everybody’s best shot and those guys played terrific.”

James had a chance to end the game in regulation with what looked like a solid layup opportunity, but he ended up dishing out to Carmelo Anthony for a 3-point attempt instead.

“I felt like Melo’s look was a lot better than mine,” he said, via SBNation’s Ryan Ward.

James had a triple-double with 23 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists in his first game back after a one-game absence with a knee injury. He shot just 1-of-9 from behind the arc, however, and made just nine field goals. Westbrook dropped 30 points with eight rebounds and six assists.

The Lakers have now lost six of their last seven, and are 4-13 in their last 17 games. The Rockets are the only team with a worse record over that same span. The Lakers still sit in ninth in the Western Conference standings, but are now only 1.5 games ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans — who hold the final play-in spot.

Houston guard Jalen Green dropped a career-high 32 points to lead the Rockets in the win, which marked just their third victory in their last 20 games. Green scored 13 straight points to end the fourth quarter, too. Alperen Sengun and Josh Christopher each added 21 points.

“That was a lot of fun,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said, via Fox26’s Mark Berman. “I’m so, so proud of this group. You look out there and there’s two 21-year-olds, two 20-year-olds and Eric [Gordon] and we got it…

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2022-03-10

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