The Lakers used a 17-4 run in the fourth quarter to take control over a six-minute span. and led by as many as eight points in the final minute. They shot 8-of-13 from the floor and 10-for-11 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Despite the loss, James Harden led the Rockets with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists in his 32nd straight game with 30 or more points. That is the second-longest streak in NBA history, only behind Wilt Chamberlain's streak of 65 in a row. Chris Paul added 23 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists before fouling out, which led to him and Harden criticizing the officials after the game.
Kyle Kuzma chipped in with 18 points for the Lakers, who got back to .500 at 28-28 with the win, which has them in 10th place in the Western Conference. They sit 2.5 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the final playoff spot, as they move on to visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night. The Rockets will be in a showdown that same night, when they visit the Golden State Warriors on ABC.
Earlier in the night, the Milwaukee Bucks were led by the other All-Star captain from last weekend in Charlotte, that being Giannis Antetokounmpo. The "Greek Freak" had 30 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, along with 13 rebounds to lift the Bucks over the Boston Celtics at home, 98-97. Khris Middleton had a game-clinching three-pointer in the final minute for the Eastern Conference leaders, who got the win within some controversy. The Celtics were only given 3.5 seconds after the Bucks' late shot-clock violation, when the Celtics expected a little more time after 24-second shot clock expired.
Kyrie Irving finished with 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, as the Celtics fell to the five seed in the Eastern Conference standings. The Philadelphia 76ers overtook the fourth place spot after they beat the Miami Heat on Thursday. Irving's presence was his first after missing the previous two games with a strained right knee. He has missed 11 games overall, as his Celtics sit 15 games over .500 heading in to a matchup with the Chicago Bulls on Saturday. Middleton finished with 15 points and a season-high 13 rebounds for the Bucks, who will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.