James Harden leaves game versus Lakers with left leg injury

Monday, 01 Jan, 2018

If he's out for any prolonged period of time it could be a problem for the Rockets.

Four players scored at least 16 points for the Lakers led by Jordan Clarkson's 20 points off the bench.

The Lakers lost to the Rockets, 148-142, on New Years Eve, falling to 11-24 on the season while the Rockets improved to 26-9.

Harden - who dropped 51 points in the loss to the Lakers - is also a boogeyman for the Lakers' switching defense because of his ability to exploit mismatches. Including the loss to the Lakers, the Rockets (25-9) have lost five games in a row, more than they had lost total before Kyle Kuzma scored 38 points and the Lakers stole a 122-116 win on December 20. That had been the franchise's longest losing streak since January of 2013.

Conley has played in 12 games this season, averaging 17.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.0 steals a game. James Harden led the team in scoring with just 20 points but he needed more support as no other starter finished in double figures.

They fell behind 19-3 to open the game, for the second consecutive game making only one of their first 10 shots, and never could recover. Ball's shooting percentages have improved significantly since the first two months of his National Basketball Association career, as he shot a healthy.377 from the three-point arc through 10 games in December.

Brandon Ingram vs. Trevor Ariza - With Lonzo Ball still sidelined, Brandon Ingram will have a huge responsibility to carry as he will have to play point for the Lakers once again. The Lakers have lost eight of their last 10 games and have fallen to the No. 14 seed in the Western Conference.

Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni changed up his rotation, bringing in Green for Ryan Anderson when Tucker usually checks in.

Ariza put in a corner 3 to cut the lead in half and Harden beat Julius Randle off the dribble for the three-point play to tie the game.

Seconds later, Kuzma coolly sank a three-pointer, inches away from the Rockets bench.

Houston fouled to get him out of the game, and he did not return. Ingram, who had made only 61% of his free throws entering Sunday's game, hit both free throws.

Brook Lopez is not exactly known for his defense, but his absence over the Lakers past six games has had a direct impact on the Lakers performance on that end of the court.

Chris Paul took the final shot of overtime and missed.