We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 99-98 win at Houston:
Bench points for the Lakers, led by Jodie Meeks’ 18 and Wesley Johnson’s 16. Both were key down the stretch for L.A.: Johnson shut down James Harden during the final minutes, while Meeks drained a key triple (five overall in the game) to set up Steve Blake’s game winner.
Free-throw attempts for the Rockets compared to the Lakers 15. Harden attempted 16, including 13 in the second quarter, while Dwight Howard also attempted 16, with 12 of them coming in the fourth. L.A. elected to foul the big man down the stretch intentionally where he went 4 for 8. Overall, Houston only made 33 of their 52, a 63.5 percent clip.
Three-pointers made for the Lakers, the last one from Blake ultimately being the game-winner. Below is a shot chart of the Lakers performance from the three-point line, courtesy of NBA.com/stats.
Rebounds for Chris Kaman in his first start as a Laker, with coach Mike D’Antoni choosing to play two bigs. The 7-footer recorded four points, five boards, two steals and one block in the first quarter to help pace the Lakers to an early double-digit lead. In all, L.A. owned a plus-three advantage on the glass and grabbed 13 offensive boards towards 13 second-chance points.
The Lakers held the Rockets without a field goal for the final 3:52 after choosing to foul Howard until the two-minute mark. In that span, Howard went 5 for 12 from the line, while Houston missed five field goals, including Patrick Beverley’s last second three-point attempt.