The Houston Roundball Review is an online basketball publication
by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Rockets lose to Swaggy P and the Lakers, 98-92

Posted: November 19, 2014 -- 11:10 pm.

HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- The Houston Rockets wilted down the stretch Wednesday night and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 98-92 in front of a sellout crowd filled with Lakers' fans. The Rockets led 91-86 with 2:42 left in the fourth quarter; but, three missed field goals combined with two turnovers and one missed free throw allowed the Lakers to close the game with a 12-1 run to hand the Rockets their second straight loss.

"We really didn't get the looks were looking for," Kevin McHale said after the game. In that stretch, Trevor (Ariza) made a great pass back to (Tarik) Black; and, he missed a layup and one free throw. With nobody guarding him (Black), he ended up with the ball under the basket; and, he missed the lay-in. That happens. He was fighting out there hard. He hadn't been in those positions."

The Rockets (9-3) do not have a surplus of quality big men. Dwight Howard missed tonight's game versus the Los Angeles Lakers due to a strained right knee. Howard's absence combined with Terrence Jones' already out with a nerve issue in his knee, left the Rockets with Tarik Black starting at center and Joey Dorsey the first big man off the bench.

Black played nearly 35 minutes in tonight's game. He scored five points (2 for 6 field goals); pulled down nine rebounds; and tallied one assist, one steal, and turnover.

Dorsey played nine minutes. Dorsey scored 1 point (0 for 3 field goals) and grabbed three boards.

James Harden led the Rockets with 24 points (7 for 11 field goals, 8 for 10 free throws). Harden dished seven assists; but, he also turned the ball over six times -- including two critical turnovers in the last two minutes of the game.

Rookie Kostas Papanikoalou scored a career-high 19 points off the bench. Patrick Beverley scored 15 points and Trevor Ariza added 13 points.

The Rockets launched 38 three-point shots and made 15 of them. They were 15 for 36 from two point range and 17 for 23 from the free throw line.

Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 29 points (10 for 28 field goals). Nick Young scored 16 points off the bench. Jordan Hill (16 points and 10 rebounds) and Carlos Boozer (12 points and 13 rebounds) each delivered double-doubles.

The Rockets' next game is this Saturday, November 22, at home, versus the Dallas Mavericks.

CLICK HERE for The HRR's Rockets' write-ups.

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