NBA regular season

Jalen Green, young Rockets clobber surging LeBron James-led Lakers


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Jalen Green, young Rockets clobber surging LeBron James-led Lakers

GENERATIONAL BATTLE. Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) drives with the ball as Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) defends during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Fil-Am rising star Jalen Green continues to banner the upstart Houston Rockets, dealing LeBron James and the red-hot Los Angeles Lakers a masterful beatdown

Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun posted near-matching double-doubles as the Houston Rockets blistered the visiting Los Angeles Lakers 135-119 on Monday (Tuesday, January 30, Manila time).

Green produced his third consecutive double-double with 34 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and seven assists. Sengun tallied 31 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists as that duo co-authored a rousing offensive effort from the Rockets, who shot 53.1 percent from the floor and scored 29 fastbreak points.

Rookie Cam Whitmore added 20 points off the Houston bench while Jabari Smith Jr. put up 18 points and nine rebounds. Dillon Brooks scored 17 points for the Rockets, who led by as many as 30 before the Lakers fashioned a fourth-quarter rally. Houston won for the second time in three games.

LeBron James, Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell scored 23 points apiece for the Lakers, with James adding a team-high 10 assists. Los Angeles had won five of its previous seven games.

The Rockets, who were up by 18 at halftime, reeled off a 12-1 spurt to open the second half. When Smith banked in a shot in transition with 7:35 left in the third period, the Rockets secured a 94-64 lead.

When the Lakers started their methodical crawl back into contention, the Rockets seemed to have an answer, including a Green 3-pointer that lifted the margin to 108-83 with 26.8 seconds left in the third.

The Lakers’ bench seized momentum in the fourth, and after Rui Hachimura (16 points) and Jaxson Hayes provided the spark, James carried the torch. His 3-pointer with 3:54 left cut the deficit to 121-111, but Houston salted away the win at the foul line, earning a split of the four-game season series.

Green and Russell engaged in a spirited back-and-forth in the first period, both pouring in 13 points in the frame. The Rockets carried a 42-31 lead into the second period, and then boosted the gap to 62-41 on a Green 3-pointer.

Two Brooks jumpers in the waning moments, including a 20-footer at the buzzer, lifted Houston to a 78-60 halftime lead. Five Rockets scored in double figures in the first half, with Whitmore tallying 16 off the bench. Houston shot 55.6 percent in the half, bolstered by 20 fastbreak points. –

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