Houston Rockets Odds
The Houston Rockets delivered a stunning triumph in the opener and look to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series when they face the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday near Orlando.
The Rockets were just 48 hours past closing their Game 7, first-round series victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder but weren’t the least bit hampered by the lack of rest. Houston guards James Harden (36 points), Russell Westbrook (24) and Eric Gordon (23) controlled the pace of the game and the Rockets forced the Lakers into 17 turnovers during the convincing 112-97 victory.
The Rockets also matched Los Angeles with 41 rebounds despite their lack of size due to their small-ball philosophy. The fourth-seeded Rockets are 3-1 versus the Lakers this season.
Los Angeles Lakers Odds
The Los Angeles Lakers look to bounce back from a lackluster opening performance they face the Houston Rockets on Sunday in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals near Orlando.
The top-seeded Lakers were well rested after not playing since Aug. 29 but weren’t able to deal with the speed of the fourth-seeded Rockets. Anthony Davis contributed 25 points and 14 rebounds while LeBron James had 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. But Los Angeles was just 11 of 38 (28.9 percent) from 3-point range in a series in which it knows it needs to be efficient from long range due to Houston’s bombing philosophy.
Rajon Rondo had eight points and four assists — but also committed four turnovers — in 25 minutes in his first action since the resumption of the regular season because of thumb and back injuries.
Rockets at Lakers Betting Pick for Game 2
LeBron James said the Lakers were surprised by Houston’s speed but there will be no such excuse available for Game 2. Look for Los Angeles to make some adjustments and even the series.
FLM Prediction: Lakers (-235), Rockets (+194)
Lakers 123, Rockets 116
Rockets at Lakers Best Bet for Game 2
LeBron James has reached the 30-point mark in three of six postseason games this season and seems primed to top it in Game 2. James Harden has six 30-point outings in eight postgame games after his efficient 12-of-20 shooting performance in the opener.
Rockets at Lakers Best Bet for Game 2:
LeBron James and James Harden to both top 29.5 points (+205)