Leading by as many as 27, the Los Angeles Lakers quickly grabbed control of the game and held off a second-half rally to earn a 120-102 win over the Houston Rockets.
The Lakers improved to 8-3 overall, and 5-0 on the road this season with the win.
However, fireworks between Markieff Morris and DeMarcus Cousins stole the spotlight in this one.
Morris got into a shoving match with the former Lakers' big man with 2:15 left in the first quarter. The two had to be separated as Cousins made his way to the Houston bench.
Morris initially knocked down Jae’Sean Tate and Cousins knocked Morris down in retaliation. Morris then sought out Cousins and bumped him. The two had words and had to be separated. Both received technical fouls. Morris also received a flagrant 1 foul and was ejected from the game.
Cousins was ejected a few minutes later for a flagrant 2 foul after chopping down on LeBron James trying strip the ball. The contact did not appear intentional, but Cousins headed for the showers.
The Lakers replaced Cousins on the roster with Morris last February.
After missing four games due to a left ankle sprain, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope returned to the starting lineup. Joining him back in the starting lineup was Anthony Davis, who missed the Chicago game with a right adductor strain.
Top player: Davis finished with a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 9-of-12 from the floor. Talen Horton-Tucker also finished with a career-high 17 points.
What I liked: The Lakers got after it defensively, holding Houston to 41 percent shooting from the field. … L.A. also finished with 13 steals and nine blocks and finished with a 32-7 advantage in fastbreak points. The Lakers forced 21 turnovers.
What I did not like: The Lakers allowed Houston to cut the lead to 11 in the third quarter, but put their foot back on the gas in the fourth quarter.
Injuries: Wesley Matthews (sore right Achilles) and Jared Dudley (sore right calf) were held out of Sunday’s game against the Rockets.
They said it: “I’m happy with how we’re running. We always want to continue to push and develop those habits of running the floor – the man with the basketball pushing and the wings getting out and flying and bigs getting down the floor as well.” – Lakers head coach Frank Vogel on his team emphasizing pushing the basketball.