The Lakers lost Game 1 of their first-round series against the Trail Blazers, and the same thing happened in their second-round series vs. the Rockets. Houston came out and exposed the Lakers' weaknesses and didn't let up over the course of the game. L.A.'s size was supposed to be too much for the Rockets, however, Houston used that strength against the Lakers and ended up breaking even in terms of rebounds. 

It's not time to hit the panic button yet for the Lakers, however, some serious adjustments will need to be made in order for this team to not fall further behind to the Rockets in this series. Here's everything you need to know about Game 2 of this exciting second-round matchup.

How to Watch Lakers vs. Rockets Game 2

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 6 | 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Disney Wide World of Sports -- Orlando, Florida
  • TV: ABC  Stream online: fuboTV (try for free)
  • Odds: Lakers -5.5 | Over/Under: 224


Rockets: Houston came out firing on all cylinders, and James Harden asserted his dominance in this game. Harden was likely playing with something to prove after his abysmal offensive showing in Game 7 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. A 36-point showing on 60 percent shooting, did the trick to right the wrong of Game 7, as the Lakers had no answer to stop him from attacking the basket. It also helped that Eric Gordon poured in 23 points, while Russell Westbrook tacked on another 24 points to go along with his nine rebounds and six assists. On the defensive end, PJ Tucker showed that just because the Rockets lack size, doesn't mean that they're severely undermatched against the Lakers. In the fourth quarter, Tucker more than held his own in the post against both LeBron James and Anthony Davis on numerous occasions. Tucker will have his hands full throughout the series as Houston's small-ball center, but he did about as good as you could ask him to do in Game 1. Now he'll just have to keep it up over the duration of this series.

Lakers: L.A. simply doesn't have anyone who can check Harden one-on-one. Danny Green proved to be too slow, fan-favorite Alex Caruso lacks the size and strength to go toe-to-toe with Harden, which leaves the Lakers to resort to double-teaming the former league MVP. This is the series that the Lakers desperately needed the defensive mind of Avery Bradley, who opted out of the NBA restart, but unfortunately for L.A. his services -- or anyone else's -- aren't on the way. It was clear in the first round that Harden had difficulty with undrafted rookie Luguentz Dort draped all over him, but in this series, the Lakers don't have anyone who can pose a threat to him. That's not great news for the top-seeded team in the West, who will now look to LeBron more than ever to do some wizardry on both ends of the floor to keep this ship from sinking.

Game prediction

The Lakers likely thought they were going to roll over the Rockets, especially given that Houston blew a 3-1 series lead to the inferior Thunder team in the first round. But the Lakers don't have defensive guys like Dort to slow down Harden, which will continue to be a problem in this series. For now, though, LeBron and L.A. will respond in a big way against the Rockets to knot this series up at one game apiece. Pick: Lakers -5.5