They'll play without Kobe Bryant, who may be out for the season with a torn rotator cuff.
Houston may not have center Dwight Howard, doubtful with an ankle injury.
The Rockets are fighting for playoff position, while the Lakers are a bottom four team -- which may not be a bad thing given that the Lakers owe a top-five protected pick to the Phoenix Suns in the 2015 NBA draft.
The Lakers own Houston's first-rounder as well, as part of the Lin trade. A Rockets' win will help the Lakers protect their own pick; a Lakers' victory may improve the selection the Lakers are getting from Houston.
In a way, it's a win-win for the Lakers regardless of which team ends up on top.
James Harden is dominating the league this season, averaging 27.3 points a game while shooting 45.1% from the field and 38.6% from three-point range.
He's also dishing 6.8 assists a night with 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 9.2 free-throw attempts.
Harden is extremely difficult to guard. Wayne Ellington, Bryant's replacement in the starting lineup, will have a challenge on his hands on Sunday.
Offensively, Coach Byron Scott has turned to rookie Jordan Clarkson as the team's starting point guard.
Clarkson is an explosive athlete, still learning the pace of the NBA game, but now is the time for the Lakers to prioritize player development.
Houston will likely be playing short-handed, as are the Lakers.
The Lakers have beaten the Rockets without Howard before this season, but Bryant scored 29 in that game.
A win for the home team will be difficult on Sunday night.