Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points in a reserve role and Russell Westbrook added 20 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 95-85 triumph over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night.
Anthony Davis had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and LeBron James scored 15 points in the Lakers’ fourth victory in five games after opening the season with two losses. Westbrook added eight rebounds and nine assists.
Eric Gordon scored 17 points and Christian Wood had 16 for the Rockets, who lost their fourth consecutive at the start of a five-game road trip. Anthony had another dynamic game in his first season with Los Angeles, hitting five 3-pointers and tying his career high with four blocked shots.
The 19-year NBA veteran, who has led the Lakers in scoring twice already this season, had at least four blocks and two steals in a match for the first time since Dec. 2, 2003.
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“I think people don’t really understand me,” Anthony said. “I think there’s a misconception out there about me not being able to adapt to situations. I’m easily adaptable to any situation and I’ve always tried to adapt to any situation I’ve been in. This is an easy adaptation for me just being here and being around the guys, being ready, staying ready, understanding what’s needed and being prepared.”
James went 6 for 19 in his second game back from a sore right ankle, but he had eight assists and seven rebounds.
Houston guard Jalen Green, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, finished with just seven points after getting in early foul trouble. The rebuilding Rockets trailed by 24 points in the first half and 28 in the fourth quarter before a late rally to trim the deficit.
The Lakers shored up their defense, and Anthony was a big part of that, too.
“I didn’t expect to see him have the defensive performance that he did, he was great,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel stated. “
The steals and blocks, he’s always good with his hands. He was in the right position … He’s willing to do all these things and he can do all these things. When he’s providing that kind of performance on the defensive side with the way he’s shooting it, he’s a huge part of our win.”
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