Los Angeles hosts Houston after Harden’s 40-point game
Houston Rockets (32-18, fifth in the Western Conference) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (38-11, first in the Western Conference)
Los Angeles; Thursday, 10 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Houston plays the Los Angeles Lakers after James Harden scored 40 points in the Rockets’ 125-110 victory against the Hornets.
The Lakers are 25-5 in Western Conference games. Los Angeles ranks sixth in the league with 26 assists per game. LeBron James leads the Lakers averaging 10.7.
The Rockets are 20-14 in conference games. Houston averages 46.3 rebounds per game and is 26-2 when pulling down more rebounds than opponents.
The teams meet for the second time this season. The Lakers won 124-115 in the last matchup on Jan. 18. James led Los Angeles with 31 points, and Russell Westbrook led Houston with 35 points.
TOP PERFORMERS: James is scoring 25.2 points per game and averaging 7.7 rebounds for the Lakers. Anthony Davis has averaged 16 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 38.2 percent over the last 10 games for Los Angeles.
Harden leads the Rockets averaging 35.8 points and has added 6.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. Eric Gordon has averaged 18.9 points and 2.2 rebounds while shooting 39.3 percent over the last 10 games for Houston.
LAST 10 GAMES: Lakers: 6-4, averaging 117.3 points, 47.3 rebounds, 27.2 assists, 8.3 steals and 5.9 blocks per game while shooting 49.3 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 112.7 points on 46.6 percent shooting.
Rockets: 6-4, averaging 119.2 points, 42 rebounds, 21.7 assists, 9.7 steals and 5.6 blocks per game while shooting 45.2 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 116.4 points on 47.6 percent shooting.
INJURIES: Lakers: DeMarcus Cousins: out (knee).
Rockets: Russell Westbrook: day to day (thumb).