Houston Rockets guard James Harden, left, dribbles the ball ahead of Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.(Scott Halleran / Getty Images)
The Lakers are on a two-game winning streak. Against teams with decent players, no less. Here are five takeaways from their 98-92 victory Wednesday in Houston.
1. Give the Lakers some credit. After sputtering to the worst 10-game start in their 66-year history, they won road games on back-to-back nights against teams that had a combined 14-6 record. Nicely done.
2. Wesley Johnson stole the show, the quiet forward hushing the Houston crowd by picking clean their perennial All-Star and converting a three-point play at the other end. A huge play by a five-year veteran with underrated defensive skills. James Harden was not happy.
3. No Dwight Howard, no production down low for Houston. The undersized Lakers won a rare 48-minute battle by the basket, outscoring Houston in the paint, 38-20.
4. Byron Scott definitely enjoys having more tools in the garage. He sat Carlos Boozer late in the fourth quarter and instead went with Nick Young, who had eight fourth-quarter points and finished with 16 in his second game back from a torn thumb ligament.
5. Can the Lakers make it three in a row, all on the road, Friday in Dallas? Probably not. But they’ll take at least two of three on this trip, something nobody figured would happen. Except maybe them. Maybe.