Houston Rockets Lose to Lakers, Drop to Eighth Seed in Western Conference
With the Houston Rockets 99-95 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night, they dropped out of the seventh seed in the Western Conference and fell to the eighth. This is a disastrous turn of events for the Rockets, who were resting comfortably at the seven spot only a week ago.
Here were a few of the betting trends for both teams heading into the match, courtesy of OddsShark.com:
Houston Rockets Trends:
When playing on Wednesday are 6-4
After playing Phoenix are 5-5
After a loss are 8-2
Los Angeles Lakers Trends:
When playing on Wednesday are 7-3
After playing San Antonio are 8-2
After a win are 6-4
A few Rockets at Lakers trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Houston’s last 5 games when playing on the road against LA Lakers
The total has gone OVER in 9 of Houston’s last 10 games when playing LA Lakers
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Houston’s last 6 games on the road
Houston is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games when playing LA Lakers
The total has gone OVER in 5 of the LA Lakers last 5 games when playing at home against Houston
LA Lakers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 9 of the LA Lakers last 10 games when playing Houston
LA Lakers are 7-1 SU in their last 8 games
The Rockets were in the game the entire way, and tied it up at the regulation buzzer with a three-pointer from Chandler Parsons. However, they could not contend with the interior size and strength of the Lakers. The Rockets only real match for the Lakers’ twin bigs in the paint is Omer Asik, and there’s only so much one man can do. Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard absolutely ripped apart the Rockets; Gasol had a 17-point, 20-rebound, 11-assist triple double, and Howard put up 16 points and 18 rebounds himself.
“If we play their pace, their two big guys just control the game after a while,” Houston coach Kevin McHale said. “We went through some stretches where we struggled offensively. We were stopping them, but they were just getting second and third shots. That killed us.”
After losing Kobe Bryant to an Achilles injury last Friday, the Lakers looked dead in the water. However, they have discovered a weapon they had in their possession all along: the massive physical advantage that Gasol and Howard possess playing together in the paint.
“From where we were 20 or 30 games ago, a seven (seed) is pretty good,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We shouldn’t have been in that spot in the first place, but it’s our fault.”
It was an ugly game in the closing minutes; neither team hit a shot for almost half of the OT period, but a big Howard block and a few key ensuring free throws sealed the deal for L.A.
“The Lakers did a good job down the stretch, and we didn’t do as good of a job,” said Houston point guard Jeremy Lin. “We didn’t get the looks we wanted to get, and we ended up with a lot of tough shots down the stretch.”
Now, perhaps the most intriguing storyline of all: because of Houston’s fall to the eight spot, they get to (have to?) play Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoffs. You know, James Harden’s old team, and the team that they’ve engaged with in some epic shoot-outs this year. The Rockets’ porous defense likely isn’t enough to contend with OKC’s explosive offense, but it will be damn entertaining nonetheless.