Harden leads Houston into matchup against Los Angeles
Houston Rockets (33-24, fifth in the Western Conference) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (28-29, 10th in the Western Conference)
Los Angeles; Thursday, 10 p.m. Eastern
BOTTOM LINE: James Harden leads Houston into a matchup against Los Angeles. He’s first in the league scoring 36.6 points per game.
The Lakers have gone 16-12 at home at the Staples Center. Los Angeles is second in the NBA with 18.9 fast break points per game, led by LeBron James averaging 5.1.
The Rockets have gone 13-15 away from home. Houston averages 41.6 rebounds per game and is 17-2 when pulling down more rebounds than opponents. The Rockets defeated the Lakers 138-134 in their last matchup on Jan. 19. Harden led Houston with 48 points and Kyle Kuzma paced Los Angeles scoring 32 points.
TOP PERFORMERS: James is averaging 26.8 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Lakers. Brandon Ingram has averaged 19.5 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 54.7 percent over the last 10 games for Los Angeles.
Chris Paul leads the Rockets with 8.0 assists and scores 15.6 points. Harden has averaged 38 points and 7.1 rebounds while shooting 45.0 percent over the last 10 games for Houston.
LAST 10 GAMES: Rockets: 6-4, averaging 117.5 points, 40.1 rebounds, 20.4 assists, 10.5 steals and 5.1 blocks per game while shooting 45.6 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 112.5 points on 48.2 percent shooting.
Lakers: 3-7, averaging 111.7 points, 44 rebounds, 26.9 assists, 5.6 steals and 4.9 blocks per game while shooting 48.3 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 123.2 points on 47.8 percent shooting.
Lakers Injuries: Mike Muscala: day to day (undisclosed), Tyson Chandler: day to day (toe), Josh Hart: day to day (right knee tendinitis), Lonzo Ball: out (left ankle).
Rockets Injuries: Iman Shumpert: out (right knee soreness), Austin Rivers: day to day (elbow), Clint Capela: out (right thumb).