Lakers vs. Rockets: Watch NBA online, live stream, TV channel, time, odds, analysis, picks

The Los Angeles Lakers didn't get off to the hottest start this season, but the group appears to have turned the corner. LeBron James has been playing the high caliber of basketball that everyone expected him to when he signed a four-year deal with L.A. However, the team's young core is figuring it out with Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball making significant strides as of late. The Lakers (17-10) are coming off a thrilling victory over the Miami Heat and will look to continue the positive momentum against the Houston Rockets.

On the other hand, the Rockets (12-14) are floundering after having high expectations entering the season. After all, this was a team that was just one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals and may have if not for an injury to Chris Paul. The team did re-sign Paul and center Clint Capela in the summer, but chose to commit to players like Carmelo Anthony and Michael Carter-Williams rather than try to retain Luc Mbah a Moute or Trevor Ariza. Considering their struggles as of late, a win over the Lakers would certainly be a huge step in the right direction.

The Lakers and Rockets are two teams going in opposite directions to say the least. It'll be interesting to see who is able to come out on top in this contest.

How to watch 

  • Date: Thursday, Dec. 13
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Location: Toyota Center -- Houston, Texas
  • TV: TNT
  • Streaming: fuboTV - (free trial - NBA League Pass add-on available)
  • Live stats: GameTracker
  • Odds: Rockets -5.5

Odds and analysis

Check Sportsline's NBA pick sheet for all your daily odds.

Storylines

Lakers: The Lakers are playing some of their best basketball of the young season. This is a group that has won six of their last seven games and they've done a large majority of that without forward Brandon Ingram, who is battling a sprained ankle. One of the biggest storylines to watch has been the play of Kyle Kuzma as of late. The second-year forward is currently averaging 17.9 points per contest on the season, but has scored at least 20 points in each of the last five games. Kuzma has been an excellent sidekick to LeBron James and they're going to need it against a offense like the Rockets.

Rockets: The Rockets have been one of the biggest disappointments during the first half of the season. Houston was supposed to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference once again, but has struggled out of the gate. The Rockets have only won three times over the past 10 games and they had lost three consecutive contests prior to their most recent win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Keep an eye on point guard Chris Paul, who is averaging just 12.6 points over the team's past five games. Health has been an issue for the team at times, but being consistent is an even bigger factor.

Game prediction, pick

The Lakers and Rockets were expected to be two of the top teams in the Western Conference. Houston has been anything but so far while Los Angeles is beginning to hit its stride. While the line suggests the Rockets could roll, take the Lakers to win this game outright.

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