The Los Angeles Lakers stumbled out of the gate against the Houston Rockets on Thursday, losing 112-97 in the first game of the Western Conference Semifinals.
Lakers’ star LeBron James performed well enough with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists on 7-15 shooting from the field, but many of his teammates struggled to score, especially from beyond the arc.
“Whoever is on the floor, we got to do a better job of executing,” James said via ESPN.
“And EG [Eric Gordon] came in in the fourth quarter and sparked them on the offensive end. Getting to the line. Getting into the paint. Making shots. And we didn’t get any to fall for us. So we got to do a better job of that.”
The Rockets shot a better percentage than the Lakers from the field and three, and also made more free-throws despite shooting a lower percentage.
I think it’s the speed,” James said.
“They play with a lot of speed both offensively and defensively. And you can watch it on film and you can see it on film; until you get out there and get a feel for it [you cannot comprehend it]. That’s what we did tonight. We got a feel for their speed, and we should be fully aware of that going into Game 2.”
The Lakers and Rockets are scheduled to play Game 2 Sunday at 8:30PM EST.