The Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets will continue their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals series on Thursday night. The Lakers enter Game 4 with a 2-1 series lead and will be looking to push the Rockets to the brink of elimination.
Houston won the series opener in convincing fashion, but it has been the Lakers that have dominated the last two games. The Rockets have the talent to compete with the Lakers, but they lack some depth.
The Lakers are the top seed in the Western Conference, and they are the best team remaining in the playoffs. Los Angeles is led by a pair of stars, but they have plenty of talent on that roster.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the Los Angeles Lakers as 5.0-point favorites over the Houston Rockets in Game 4.
Dynamic Duo Powering Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and that duo has carried the team in the postseason. Los Angeles has gotten some contributions from other players, but James and Davis are the biggest stars.
James had a monster performance in the Game 3 victory, and it was one of his best games of the season. He had 36 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, and he also had some huge defensive plays.
Davis chipped in with 26 points and 15 rebounds, and the Rockets don’t have anyone that can stop the big man. When the Lakers make a concerted effort to score in the paint, they are hard to stop.
The Lakers did have some tough stretches on defense in Game 3, but this is a solid defensive team. Los Angeles will be looking to contain the three-point shooting barrage from the Rockets.
Westbrook A Key For Houston
Even though the Houston Rockets suffered a loss in Game 3, the play of Russell Westbrook was a great sign. Westbrook had 30 points in the loss and looked like his old self for long stretches of that game.
If Westbrook continues to play well, it will take some pressure off of James Harden. The Lakers are throwing extra defenders at Harden, but he has continued to score well.
Harden had 33 points, nine assists, and nine rebounds in the Game 3 loss, but he might need a 40-point game to lead his team to a win. The former MVP has been forced to take some tough shots, but he is also capable of making them.
Robert Covington is expected back in the lineup for the Rockets after he had to leave Game 3 early. Houston got just 16 points from their bench on Tuesday night, and that’s another area that needs to improve.
Lakers Take Commanding Series Lead
The Houston Rockets are dealing with some minor injury concerns, and they weren’t a deep team to begin with. Fatigue will likely set in at some point in this game, and the Rockets won’t be able to close down the stretch.
Having two of the best players in the league is a huge advantage for the Lakers, as both Davis and James can take over at any given time. The Rockets don’t match up well with either player, and the Lakers should have another big offensive night.
Houston can keep this game close by making a ton of shots, but they won’t have enough offense in the end. The Rockets will keep it interesting, but the Lakers aren’t losing this game.
Bet the Los Angeles Lakers -5.0 over the Houston Rockets to take a commanding 3-1 series lead on Thursday night.