Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Dwight Howard made his much anticipated
return to Staples Center on Wednesday night and helped the Houston Rockets to
a 134-108 drubbing of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Howard, who had a tepid 2012-13 campaign in LA while with the Lakers before
signing with the Rockets in the offseason, scored 20 points with 13 rebounds
and three blocks against his former team.
James Harden contributed a 29-point, 11 assist double-double in Houston's
season-high eighth straight win. Chandler Parsons tallied 18 points, Donatas
Motiejunas had 12, and Terrence Jones and Francisco Garcia netted 11 points
While the Rockets are one of the hottest teams in the league, the Lakers are
sputtering on their home floor. Los Angeles had its franchise-record home
losing streak extended to eight games in defeat.
Wesley Johnson paced LA with 24 points and Kendall Marshall deposited 20
points with 16 assists in a losing effort.
Jodie Meeks notched 19 points and Ryan Kelly added 13 for the Lakers, who also
lost their fourth straight game overall.
Howard scored the first points of the game with a hook shot, then blocked
Marshall's jumper and retrieved Kelly's miss on the same possession.
Meeks then converted a three-point play before Howard spun to his left while
being guarded by Chris Kaman, and slammed down a thunderous dunk. Howard then
proceeded to get called for a technical foul while running his mouth down the
court following the play
Houston's big man must have gotten a charge from the echoes of boos at Staples
Center because he followed Meeks' technical free throw with a putback dunk off
a Harden miss and the Houston rout got underway.
Marshall did, however, follow a Kelly 3-pointer with a trey and give the
Lakers a 12-11 lead. LA led by one a couple of minutes later before the
Rockets ended the final 4:15 of the first on a 15-4 run for a 32-22 lead after
The Lakers were within single digits late in the second, but Houston ended the
frame on a 12-0 burst for a 64-43 advantage at the break.
The Rockets led by 29 after three quarters and the lead swelled to a game-high
36 following a Garcia 3-pointer late in the fourth as the Rockets cruised.
The Lakers had won 6-of-7 from Houston in LA prior to Wednesday's tilt ...
Houston shot 52-of-104 from the field, while LA shot 41-for-84 (48.8 percent)
... The Rockets outrebounded the Lakers 56-32 ... Houston shot 12-of-25 (48
percent) from the free throw line, with Howard and Jones both going 2-of-6
from the stripe ... Houston scored 26 points off of 20 LA turnovers.
The Sports Network