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LeBron James Talks Lakers' Turnover Issues in Game 1, Handling Rockets' Speed

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 5, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) looks to pass over Houston Rockets' P.J. Tucker (17) during the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers dropped Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals to the Houston Rockets 112-97 on Friday. 

L.A. committed 17 turnovers, 13 of which were courtesy of Rockets steals.

After the game, James spoke about the Lakers' issues counteracting the Rockets' speed, per Mark Medina of USA Today:

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

LeBron James said he struggled with containing the Rockets’ speed, but he believed the Lakers will get a better feel for handling that heading into Game 2

James also compared the Rockets to the late 1990s/early 2000s St. Louis Rams, nicknamed the "Greatest Show on Turf" for their electric, fast-paced and high-scoring offense:

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver

Lakers’ LeBron James compared small ball Rockets to the “Greatest Show on Turf” St. Louis Rams of the early 2000s: “There’s no way you can simulate that speed.” https://t.co/TdSlacMbCK

The Rockets were seemingly everywhere on defense, using their length and speed to get into passing lanes and turn great defensive plays into quick buckets on the other end:

Houston Rockets @HoustonRockets

You love to see it https://t.co/0wQ6JphZsG

Houston Rockets @HoustonRockets

🔒➡️🏀 https://t.co/YhjNwPdE8R

The Lakers notably went scoreless for a 4:12 stretch in the fourth quarter. During that time, Houston scored 14 points to take a 101-82 lead and salt away the game. 

All Lakers other than James and Anthony Davis scored a combined 52 points on 18-of-52 shooting.

Game 2 is on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET, with ABC televising the action.

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