The Los Angeles Lakers led the Houston Rockets by 13 points at halftime of Tuesday night's game, but watched that lead slip away—eventually resulting in a 107-105 Rockets victory.
The Lakers fought until the bitter end, but the end result remained familiar. Kobe Bryant scored 39 points, but Dwight Howard struggled at the free-throw line, and the Lakers received no scoring support from their bench.
What makes this loss even more excruciating is how badly Houston's Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin and James Harden performed for most of the night. The Rockets' three biggest offensive threats shot 10-of-43 from the floor, but double-digit efforts from Toney Douglas, Carlos Delfino and Greg Smith off the bench made the difference.
Los Angeles isn't getting enough from anyone not named Kobe. Bryant isn't playing efficient basketball either, but it's hard to tell him to stop shooting at this point.
For a complete look at the box score, check out NBA.com.
Player of the Game: Toney Douglas
Houston's Douglas was instrumental in Tuesday night's comeback. He wound up with 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting. He also grabbed four rebounds and created problems for the Lakers on defense all night.
He's not a starting-caliber player, but he's a high-energy guy to bring in off the bench. The Lakers had no answer for him in Tuesday's critical moments.
What's Next for the Los Angeles Lakers?
The 8-10 Los Angeles Lakers will travel to face the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday.
What's Next for the Houston Rockets?
The 9-8 Houston Rockets will face the San Antonio Spurs on Friday.