Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Los Angeles Lakers [Print without images]

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rockets 107, Lakers 105

By Dave McMenamin



The Los Angeles Lakers' road woes continue as they failed to protect a 17-point lead and fell 107-105 to the Houston Rockets. They're now just 8-10 overall and 1-5 on the road, with seven of their next nine games coming away from Staples Center starting Wednesday in New Orleans.

Here's a look at how it all went down:

1. Hack-a-Howard again

Dwight Howard's 8-for-16 mark from the foul line is actually better than his 46.5 percent average for the season, but the team seemed to fall flat down the stretch as Howard (16 points, 12 rebounds) clanked shot after shot.

2. Bevy of points for Bryant

Kobe Bryant came into the night needing 52 points to reach 30,000 for his career and he shot like he was gunning to get all of those points against Houston. He finished with 39 points on 14-for-31 shooting and missed a potential game-winning 3 in the final minutes.

3. More bench woes

The Rockets' reserves outscored the Lakers' substitutes 59-20. Toney Douglas had 22 points and unheralded big man Greg Smith chipped in 21 points and nine rebounds. Jordan Hill was a bright spot for L.A., however, finishing with nine points and nine rebounds in 15 minutes as Pau Gasol's absence found him back in the lineup.

4. Lineup changes -- Gasol sits; Duhon starts

Gasol decided to shut it down to rest his knees, which are suffering from tendinitis. Antawn Jamison picked up the slack with 16 points and nine rebounds. Chris Duhon was also a pleasant surprise, finishing with an efficient six points, seven assists and five rebounds.

5. More turnovers

The Lakers came into the game tied for the league lead with 16.7 turnovers per game and were even worse Tuesday, coughing it up 19 times -- leading to 17 points for the Rockets. Houston had just 10 turnovers.