LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Los Angeles Lakers are playing from behind again in these NBA playoffs.
James Harden scored 36 points and the Houston Rockets ran away from the Lakers 112-97 on Friday night, the second straight round the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference lost its opener.
Russell Westbrook added 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists, and Eric Gordon had 23 points for the Rockets, the No. 4 seed who had just one day of rest after needing seven games to win their first-round series.
光荣使命好玩吗JONATHAN FEIGEN AT HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM:光荣使命好玩吗 Rockets roll to win
They sure didn't look tired, flying around the court all night to make up for the size disadvantage they face with their small-ball style. They forced 17 turnovers that led to 27 turnovers and played the much bigger Lakers even on the backboards.
The Lakers never led after the first quarter and the Rockets blew it open by starting the fourth with a 16-3 run, turning a six-point advantage into a 101-82 cushion on Harden's basket with 7:15 to play.