The Rockets’ small ball game is built around three-point shooting and James Harden’s characteristics. But when Houston pulls “only” 33 times from three points (moreover well, with over 42%) and its leader closes with 2/11 shooting, the flaws of a small quintet are highlighted (52-26 the rebound count in favor of the Lakers, who double the Rockets) and D’Antoni’s men do not even need the 18-2 run in the fourth quarter to annoy the Lakers, who now control the series at 3-1.
The protagonist at the Lakers home is Anthony Davis, who tortures the Houston defense all night: the yellow-violet No. 3 shoots well from the field (10/18), is perfect from the line (9/9) and dominates under the scoreboards (12 rebounds), in a game that sees him close as the best scorer at 29, with even 5 assists.
LeBron James instead has the best plus / minus of the evening (+15): only 16 points for him at the final siren (with 7/17 shooting and not even a triple to score on 5 attempts) but brings 15 rebounds and 9 assists. to touch the triple double. After the race, he emphasizes the shortcomings rather than the merits of his own: “We have to close these races first.”
Rajon Rondo once again wears the role of “Playoff Rondo” and – like his leader LeBron James – goes very close to a triple double: the former Celtics closes with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists, taking only 8 shots in all the race but dominating it at will. For him 29 minutes coming off the bench, an increasingly important piece for the Lakers.