Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Playoffs

LeBron James, Playoff Rondo push Lakers past Rockets in Game 3

Propelled by LeBron James’ big first half and Playoff Rondo, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets in Game 3.

With their second-round NBA playoff series knotted up at one game apiece, the Los Angeles Lakers needed a Game 3 win to seize momentum.

Thanks to a massive first half from LeBron James and the heroics of Playoff Rajon Rondo in the fourth quarter, they got it.

Despite the Houston Rockets getting good performances out of both James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the Lakers pulled out a big win on Tuesday by dominating the final frame of what was a tied game through three quarters.

Final

Los Angeles Lakers

112

Houston Rockets

102

What else did you miss in Game 3 between the Lakers and Rockets?

James was his typically dominant self, finishing with 36 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks on 13-of-23 shooting. Though he cooled off in the second half, LeBron’s 29 first-half points on 10-of-14 shooting kept the Lakers in the game until Rondo and the rest of the bench ultimately helped them pull away late.

Playoff Rondo was key in the final 12 minutes, helping Los Angeles get off to a 15-5 start in the quarter. Finishing his night with 21 points and 9 assists on 8-of-11 shooting, Rondo scored or assisted on the Lakers’ first 19 points in the fourth. All in all, he scored or assisted on 23 of the Lakers’ 30 fourth-quarter points as they outscored Houston 30-20 in the decisive period.

Harden led the Rockets with 33 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds on 11-of-23 shooting, including 4-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Westbrook bounced back from his dismal Game 2 performance with 30 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, while Jeff Green chipped in 16 off the bench, but the Lakers’ 42-16 advantage in bench points wound up being the deciding factor.

In the process, LeBron became the NBA’s all-time leader in playoff victories as the Lakers took a 2-1 advantage in the series. Game 4 will tip off Thursday as Houston looks to settle the score.

Next: Heat send shorthanded Bucks packing in Game 5

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