Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets
Tip-off: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET
Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Online sports betting fans can all agree that this NBA season has been a tough one and now for the Los Angeles Lakers it’s bound to get tougher as they suffered another big blow entering this week.
Los Angeles will not be counting on front court players Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill for a difficult two-game road trip that begins tonight against the Houston Rockets, who are looking for a season high-tying fifth straight victory.
The Lakers entered this season as one of the favorites for the franchise’s third title in five seasons, however Los Angeles (15-18) and their new players don’t seem to have chemistry. The Lakers got to .500 after a five-game win streak last month but is 1-4 in its last five and is one shy of tying its season-high four-game skid from Dec. 7-13. The team’s chances of ending that losing streak aren’t likely when looking at their most recent injuries.
Howard, a six-time All-Star acquired from the Orlando Magic in the offseason, tore the labrum in his right shoulder Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers and re-aggravated it while matching a career high with 26 rebounds in a 112-105 defeat to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. The 27 year-old will likely sit out a week before being re-evaluated.
The 32 year-old Gasol suffered a concussion when he took an elbow in the face during Sunday’s defeat, and his backup, Hill, has an injured right hip. Both of these players will not be suiting up any time soon.
Houston will try to take advantage of the short-handed Los Angeles team to match their five-game win streak from Dec. 17-26. the Rockets will also look for their seventh victory in eight home games and their fourth in a row at the Toyota Center against the Lakers.
Houston, winner in three of four overall in the series, rallied from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter for a 107-105 home victory over Los Angeles on Dec. 4 even when James Harden missing 16 of 19 shots. This team is among the league’s highest scoring teams with 106.2 points per game, have averaged 113.5 during their win streak.
Los Angeles point guard Steve Nash is five assists shy of becoming the fifth player with 10,000.