NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 3rd (All times eastern)
Houston Rockets (2-2) at Los Angeles Lakers (3-3), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Houston kicks off a two-day tour of Staples Center Tuesday by facing a banged-up Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
The Rockets, who will stay in town to take on the Clippers on Wednesday, have split their first four games. Most recently Kevin Martin drained six three- pointers and netted a game-high 27 points on New Year's Eve, leading Houston to a 95-84 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Toyota Center.
Luis Scola scored 21 points and grabbed seven boards, while Chase Budinger finished with 17 points for the Rockets. Despite scoring only two points, Kyle Lowry dished out a career-high 18 assists in the victory. Jordan Hill ripped down a career-high 15 boards to go with 11 points.
"The game got a little tough," Scola said. "We kind of let them back in, but once we got a 10-point lead, we kind of had the game under control."
The Lakers, meanwhile, have split their first six contests, falling to 3-3 on the season after losing the back end of a home-and-home set with Denver, 99-90, on New Year's Day.
One night after losing 92-89 at Staples Center, the Nuggets scored the final 11 points to beat the Lakers. Andre Miller tied the game with a jumper and Danilo Gallinari put his team ahead with a dunk with just over two minutes remaining.
Bryant, playing with a torn ligament in his right wrist, scored 16 and became the youngest player and just the sixth overall in NBA history to reach 28,000 career points, but was a miserable 6-of-28 from the field and missed seven of his eight three-point tries as the Lakers were held without a point for the final 2:47.
Andrew Bynum totaled 18 points and 16 rebounds for LA, which also got 20 points and 11 boards from Pau Gasol.
"I did not coach a good game and our players did not play a good game," Lakers coach Mike Brown said. "We made too many mental mistakes as a unit and we also didn't at time have the necessary sense of urgency."
The Rockets have lost nine of their last 11 meetings with the Lakers, including three straight at Staples Center.
01/03 10:38:11 ET