Chris Paul Injured In Rockets’ 122-116 Loss To Lakers
The Houston Rockets suffered a 122-116 home defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night, and it was only made worse by the loss of Chris Paul, who left the game for good in the fourth quarter with a strained left adductor.
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Paul finished with eight points, five assists and five rebounds in 25 minutes and suffered his first loss in the 16 games he has played with Houston this season.
Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with a career-high 38 points and seven rebounds. The forward — a 2017 first-round draft pick out of Utah — is now the first rookie in NBA history to score at least 38 points with seven or more made three-pointers while shooting at least 70 percent from the field. Twenty-four of Kuzma’s 38 points came in the first half.
“It was pretty cool,” Kuzma finally admitted about going toe-to-toe with Harden for stretches. “He’s one of the best players in the league, so it was a cool moment for sure.
“[But] I’ve played like 30 games,” Kuzma countered. “I’ve played LeBron James, so it can’t get much higher after that, so just try to keep it the same now.”
The Lakers (11-18) snapped the Rockets’ (25-5) 14-game win streak.
“We’re tired of losing,” Corey Brewer said. “I feel like everybody keeps saying we’re young, but these young guys want to win. Tonight I told them, we can win this game. Even though they won 14 in a row, they look at me like I’m going to be one of the leaders, I tell them we can win. Tonight we won.”
Brewer, whom Houston traded to the Lakers last season, scored 21 points in 25 minutes. The Lakers lost their three previous games.
James Harden scored 51 and added nine assists for the hosts. He went 15-for-27 from the floor, 4-of-6 from 3-point range and 17-of-21 from the line.
The Lakers played with an unusual starting lineup. They were missing Brook Lopez, who will miss three weeks with a sprained ankle, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who is not permitted to leave California because of a court order. Therefore, Los Angeles started Andrew Bogut at center and Josh Hart at guard. Kuzma got the start over Larry Nance Jr.
Houston was also missing starting center Clint Capel (heel), but Eric Gordon propelled the offense by making four 3s in the second half.
Entering Wednesday, the Rockets had also boasted a streak of winning 55 straight when scoring 115 points or more.
The Lakers next visit Golden State on Friday night, when the Rockets host the Los Angeles Clippers.
PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 16: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 16, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Rockets defeated the Suns 142-116. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)