The Los Angeles Lakers blew a huge lead over the Houston Rockets Thursday night, in what was an epic meltdown. But the Lakers got off the mat and managed a late, comeback win over Dwight Howard and his new team, thanks to Steve Blake’s game-winning three-pointer.
After leading by as much as 19 points, the Lakers trailed 97-91 with 2:05 left. Los Angeles worked its way back to trailing 98-96, with 10 seconds to go and set up for a final possession. The Lakers then botched an inbounds pass and set up another one from the baseline with just 3.4 seconds left.
Blake curled off a screen and thanks to some horrible communication by the Rockets, he got a great look at a three-pointer with Howard closing out on him hard. Blake’s shot was perfect and it splashed nothing but net to give the Lakers a 99-98 lead with 1.3 seconds left.
Video of the play below:
The Rockets then had an inbounds play at halfcourt off of a timeout, but they barely got the ball in and Patrick Beverley missed a final, desperate shot.
Howard missed seven free throws in the final 3:30 of the game that could have secured the win for Houston. He finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds but was an atrocious 5-of-16 from the free throw line.
After all the drama involving Howard and the Lakers over the past year, I bet it felt pretty fantastic for LA to go into Houston and come away with a hard-fought win.