The Los Angeles Lakers were fresh off an embarrassing loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, but there was added motivation tonight: the first game against Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets.
Without Kobe Bryant, the matchup was intense and after Howard spurned the Lakers over the summer, it was time to show Howard what he’s missing after he left. Leading the entire night by double digits, the Lakers saw their lead deteriorate in the second half and fourth quarter as the Rockets went ahead by six.
However, the Lakers implored the “Hack-A-Howard” strategy as Howard finished the night hitting just 5-16 from the free throw line and the Lakers trailed 98-96 with 10 second left. After a botched inbounds play, Steve Blake caught the inbound pass from Jodie Meeks with three seconds left and rose above Howard, hitting the game-winning three-pointer.
With under two seconds left, Rockets guard Patrick Beverly missed a shot and the Lakers beat the Rockets and Howard, 99-98. Here’s the shot that Blake hit against the Rockets:
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