Every time you think this Lakers’ season from hell can’t get any worse, it does. On Wednesday, even with LeBron James back in the lineup, the Lakers fell on their face against the Houston Rockets, who are tied with the Magic for the fewest wins in the league, 139-130 in overtime.
LeBron had a 24-14-12 triple-double.
Russell Westbrook had 30 points.
Didn’t matter. The Lakers got absolutely blitzed in OT as Houston opened the extra frame on a 10-0 run that was, for a second, a 13-0 run before a Rockets 3-pointer that was retroactively deemed a shot-clock by a violation wiped off the board.
Rookie Jalen Green, who finished with 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting, including 4-of-17 from 3, scored the first seven points in OT. He was sensational all night. As was Kenyon Martin Jr. with 17 points and 11 boards, and Alperen Sengun with 21 points and 14 boards. Eric Gordon splashed a 3 in OT to finish with 15 points as a team-high plus-12.
The Lakers had a chance to win it in regulation. LeBron looked like he might have a look at a layup, but by the time he cleared his defender, he was behind the backboard and off balance and decided — correctly, in my opinion — to kick it out to Carmelo Anthony for the potential game-winner. Anthony got a clean look. Just didn’t make it.
That’s the way this season has gone for the Lakers. They were poorly constructed from the start, Anthony Davis can’t stay healthy, the Westbrook trade was always going to be a bust, and even LeBron James still playing at an elite level isn’t enough to save them. Heck, it’s not even enough to beat the Rockets.
You think LeBron has given up? Look at his effort, or lack thereof, to get back on defense after Westbrook smoked a layup in OT.
LeBron recently said that until he’s buried “12 feet under” he’s still “got a chance” and he’s going to keep believing in his ability to pull this very bad NBA basketball team from the dark depths to which they’ve sunk. But that is not the look of a man who remains invested in the struggle. There were still over two and a half…