Lakers survive after nearly blowing 21-point lead, beat Rockets in Game 2 to even series

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They nearly blew a massive first-half lead, but the Los Angeles Lakers have leveled their Western Conference semifinals series with the Houston Rockets.

The Lakers, behind a combined 62 points from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, beat the Rockets 117-109 in Game 2 on Sunday night at Walt Disney World, tying the series at 1-1.

“We’re going to fight. We’ve got a lot of guys with championship DNA,” Davis said on Spectrum SportsNet. “They told us the game is about runs. They made their run, now it’s time to resettle and make our run. We were able to do that in the fourth quarter and come out with a win.”

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Lakers hold on after 21-point lead disappears

The Lakers didn’t waste any time on Sunday night, jumping out to a massive 21-point lead early in the second quarter. They seemed poised to walk to an easy win after dropping Game 1 by 15 points on Friday.

Whatever Mike D’Antoni told his team in the locker room at halftime, however, worked early.

The Rockets took off in the third, and outscored the Lakers 41-23 in the period to retake the lead after a 10-point quarter from James Harden.

While things had fallen apart for Los Angeles, it didn’t stay that way for long. The Lakers burst out of the gate in the fourth quarter on a 23-9 run to regain control before cruising to the eight-point win.

“My teammates looked at me to try to be aggressive, either getting myself shots or getting my teammates shots,” James said of the fourth quarter, via USA Today’s Mark Medina. “I got an opportunity to see a couple seams, able to attack the rim and also find a couple guys as well. Every position dictates different results, and I was able to capitalize on a few of them.”

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Davis led the Lakers with 34 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 15-of-24 from the field. James nearly finished with a triple-double in the win, dropping 28 points with 11 rebounds and nine assists. Markieff Morris added 16 points off the bench.

Harden led Houston with 27 points while shooting 4-of-8 from the 3-point line. Eric Gordon added 24 points, and P.J. Tucker finished with 18.

Russell Westbrook finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 4-of-15 from the field and 1-of-7 from behind the arc. He seemed visibly frustrated after the loss, too, clearly at odds with his struggles.

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“Right now, I’m just running around,” Westbrook said. “I gotta look at film and figure out how to be effective.”

Game 3 of the series is scheduled for Tuesday night.

Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis
Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis (3) scores a basket during the second half of Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals series against the Houston Rockets on Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (AP/Mark J. Terrill)

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