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Takeaways from Los Angeles Lakers' Grudge Match vs. Houston Rockets

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Takeaways from Los Angeles Lakers' Grudge Match vs. Houston Rockets
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers couldn't provide their fans with the beatdown of Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets they so desired and ended up getting trounced themselves by a final score of 134-108.

The Lakers' porous defense was no match for the Rockets, as James Harden, Dwight Howard and company were able to manhandle the Lakers on their home court, proving that this injury-riddled team has completely lost its edge and has very little left to cling to for the remainder of this lost season.

The Lakers crowd expended plenty of effort making sure Howard knew how the City of Angles felt about him, but the on-court product lacked any of the venom and vitriol of a proper grudge match.

This is mostly due to the fact that the players who could provide the true adversarial edge this night required, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, were in street clothes.

The Howard storyline was edged to the margins somewhat before the game as news broke that the Lakers had traded Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. 

The Lakers played like they expected nothing but bad news all night long. 

Harden finished with 29 points and was the obvious star of the show, but explaining his continued assault on the league's perimeter defenses can be a bit redundant after a while.

He makes the spectacular routine, and there were plenty of other notable takeaways from this grudge match that ended up decidedly one-sided.

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