The Lakers Lose Their Second Game In A Row, Falling To Houston, 113-97
The Lakers continued their shooting streak.
Much to their chagrin.
The Lakers made a season-low two shots from beyond the arc in 19 attempts -- a woeful 10.5 percent -- in their 113-97 loss to the Houston Rockets on Thursday.
The Rockets, meanwhile, made 21 shots from beyond the three-point line, two more shots than the Lakers even attempted.
Heading into Thursday's game, the Lakers had only made 25 percent of their shots from beyond the arc over four games in the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World near Orlando, 11 percent lower than their season average before the restart.
When Lakers coach Frank Vogel was asked if he's worried the Lakers are starting to lose confidence from that distance, he didn't hesitate in his response.
"I won’t let them lose confidence," he said. "...The percentages will come around. I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve never seen them not come around. So we’re very confident in that. And our guys will remain confident."
The Lakers were without LeBron James because of a sore right groin. He missed 17-straight games last season because of a strained right groin and Vogel said it's still an "area of concern."
Alex Caruso (left neck muscle spasms) and JaVale McGee (coach's decision) were also out.
Even without Russell Westbrook, who missed Thursday's game because of a bruised right quad, the Rockets were dominant, leading by as many as 19 points. The Lakers' biggest lead was two points in the first quarter.
Vogel played around with different lineups on Thursday, starting Quinn Cook, Danny Green, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Each of the starters scored in double-digits except for Cook. Kuzma had 21 points on eight-for-16 shooting and Anthony Davis had 17 points on five-for-eight shooting and 12 rebounds.
Danny Green added 10 points on five-for-seven shooting, but he didn't attempt a three-point shot. He said he wasn't trying to avoid shooting from that distance, he just took what the defense gave him.
Green, who has only made four of his 20 attempts from beyond the three-point line in the resumed season, said the only way a shooter can regain his rhythm is to keep shooting.
"I think for most guys, for all people, not just specialists, all shooters, all players, you’re gonna have slumps," Green said. "You’re gonna have nights where you don’t have a good rhythm. And there’s no real secret to it. You gotta continue to shoot the ball. You can’t be unconfident. Confidence is the biggest thing in this league. It can make or break many guys."
James Harden had a game-high 39 points in 36 minutes on 11-for-19 shooting, including making five three-pointers. He also had eight rebounds and 12 assists.
The Rockets (43-25) are tied for fourth-place in the Western Conference with the Utah Jazz, 1/2 a game ahead of the sixth-place Oklahoma City Thunder.
Vogel said he's not worried about the Lakers, who clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference on Monday for the first time since 2010.
They're not shooting well, but Vogel strongly believes that will turn around.
"The law of averages plays out," he said. "And I’m okay with getting all these misses out of the way right now."