Sports and Scores
 

Rockets beat Lakers 134-108 for 8th straight win

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

By JOE RESNICK


Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) There was no warm welcome back. No video montage of highlights that brought back the good old days.

That didn't keep Dwight Howard from thoroughly enjoying his first road game against the team he left as a free agent after one tumultuous season.

Howard had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Houston Rockets in 134-108 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night that extended the Rockets' winning streak to eight games.

"We're always going to have fun when we're playing basketball. We love what we're doing," Howard said. "We're playing great, and we just want to have as much fun as possible."

The streak is Houston's longest since a franchise-record, 22-game run in 2007-08 under Rick Adelman. James Harden scored 11 of his 29 points in the final 1:25 of the third quarter and added 11 assists.

Wesley Johnson scored 24 points for Los Angeles, and Kendall Marshall had 20 points and 16 assists. The injury-ravaged Lakers remained tied for last place in the Western Conference with Sacramento at 18-36.

"The Lakers have always found a way to get back to the top, and they will one day. But I can't focus on the Lakers," Howard said. "My focus is on the Rockets and what we're trying to accomplish."

It was Howard's third game against the Lakers since leaving the organization to sign a four-year, $88 million contract with the Rockets in July. Los Angeles offered the eight-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year a five-year, $118 million deal to stay.

"He's having a great year there, but I felt he did the same thing here," Lakers guard Jodie Meeks said. "The numbers are almost identical. He had a pretty good year last year - and for whatever reason, some people didn't think so."

Howard played 76 games last season, averaging 17.1 points and a league-best 12.4 rebounds despite residual pain from back surgery - compounded by a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Howard's only season in Tinseltown ended with a whimper - a four-game sweep by San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs, when he was ejected from what would turn out to be his final game as a Laker for protesting a non-call.

The sellout crowd booed Howard every time he touched the ball. It began during warm-ups about 45 minutes before the game, after a few of his ex-teammates came over to say hello at midcourt. The fans then drowned out public address announcer Lawrence Tanter before he could get Howard's name out of his mouth during the introductions.

Howard received a technical foul just 78 seconds into the game after dunking on Chris Kaman.

"I think it was more emotion than anything," Howard said. "I don't know if the ref thought I was talking to Kaman, but one of my friends was sitting courtside and I was just looking at him and having some fun. It wasn't nothing toward the Lakers or any of their guys. I was just talking trash to one of my friends."

Less than 90 minutes before tipoff, the Lakers dealt guard Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for reserve guards Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. Coach Mike D'Antoni was still talking about Blake in the present tense during his pregame session with reporters before the deal was consummated, and the trade left him with only eight players in uniform and his 28th different starting lineup due to injuries to Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Xavier Henry and Nick Young.

Jordan Farmar returned to the lineup after missing four games because of a sore hamstring, and Meeks was back in action after sitting out five games with a sprained right ankle.

Harden helped the Rockets build a 64-43 halftime lead with 15 points in the first game for both teams following the All-Star break. Howard added 14 points and 10 rebounds - the 10th time this season that he had a double-double by halftime.

NOTES: The Rockets were 18 for 35 on free throws, after attempting more than 50 in each of the previous two meetings. ... Bryant hasn't played in any of the games against Houston since he and Howard became ex-teammates. In fact, he's played in only six games altogether. The season series concludes on April 8 at Los Angeles. ... The Lakers have lost seven games by margins of at least 20 or more points. ... Harden scored at least 30 points in each of his previous four games against the Lakers. ... The Rockets began a five-game road trip that will end right back here at Staples Center against the Clippers.

Updated February 20, 2014

? © 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Audio On Demand

It Is What It Is Cast: Pa…

It Is What It Is Cast: Patriots prepare for Matt Forte and the Bears

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price look ahead to Sunday's game against the Bears and what the Patriots need to do to contain dynamic running back Matt Forte.

Peter King with Dale and Holley

We check in with SI/MMQB's Peter King for his weekly take on the Patriots and all things NFL.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick with Dale and Holley

We sit down with Bill Belichick on a Patriots Monday and get his take on a nail-biting win over the Jets, as well as his feelings on Peyton Manning breaking the NFL record for touchdowns.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Kir…

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Kirk Minihane Previews the Celtics

Kirk Minihane joins the We Hate Dwyane Wade Show to preview the upcoming Celtics season. Ben and Sam also discuss the Rajon Rondo/Jeff Green trade rumors and dabble in the classic NBA analytics debate.

NWOA Injury Report - Rajon Rondo

Dr Nick Leung for the Newton Wellesley Orthopedics Association joins Ben to talk about Rajon Rondo's broken hand.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - 10-1-14

The debut edition of the We Hate Dwyane Wade show. Ben and Sam preview the Celtics and talk about other summer news around the NBA.

Joe Castiglione wraps up …

Joe Castiglione wraps up the 2014 Red Sox Season with a Poem

Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.

Mut and Bradford on the disappointing season for Jackie Bradley, Jr and Xander Bogaerts 9-28-14

Mut and Rob discuss the "kids" and the variety of young bodies the Red Sox called upon this season. Specifically, they look at Bogaerts and Bradley, Jr. and where things went wrong. They give their opinions on which one will right the ship next season.

Minor Details Ep. 101: Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett on the state of the Red Sox system

Description: Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.

Jack Edwards with Dale an…

Jack Edwards with Dale and Holley

We talk pucks with Jack Edwards of NESN for his take on an impressive win over the San Jose Sharks and the state of the B's in general.

Andy Brickley, NESN, thinks Torey Krug can be an all-around defensemen, 10-22-14

Brick talked about the emergence of Torey Krug as a solid D pairing with Seidenberg and how well the Power Play is playing. He contributes that to 2 different units competing. Brick also likes the versatility of Simon Gagne.

Tony Marinaro from TSN 690 in Montreal yells about Bruins-Habs 10-17-14

The world's biggest Canadiens fan Tony Marinaro joins MFB after the Bruins and Tuukka Rask suffered another loss in Montreal.

The revenge of the produc…

The revenge of the producers 10-22-14

D&C react to Sausage and Curtis's podcast.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Gubernatorial debate 10-22-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

Gay players in the NFL 10-22-14

A heated debate on how hard it will be for a gay person in the NFL.

Three For All - Vermont G…

Three For All - Vermont Gubernatorial Debate

The show took a look at all the hilarious sounds of last nights Governor's debate in the great state of Vermont.

Andy Brickley, NESN, thinks Torey Krug can be an all-around defensemen, 10-22-14

Brick talked about the emergence of Torey Krug as a solid D pairing with Seidenberg and how well the Power Play is playing. He contributes that to 2 different units competing. Brick also likes the versatility of Simon Gagne.

Kirk Minihane blasts his own show, 10-22-14

Sausage and Lumpy, the producers for the D&C show, recorded a podcast yesterday. They left A LOT of stuff on the cutting room floor. Luckily, MFB picked it all up and played the unedited version during the midday show. Kirk joined the show to discuss how hard it is working with Callahan and his two producers.

Darrelle Revis sent home …

Darrelle Revis sent home for being late to team meeting: Response and Reaction

We discuss the breaking news that Darrelle Revis was sent home yesterday for being late to scheduled team activities. Was it the right move by Bill Belichick? We discuss.

Jack Edwards: Even if Griffith lights it up, Bruins still need to make a move

We talk pucks with Jack Edwards of NESN for his take on an impressive win over the San Jose Sharks and the state of the B's in general.

Bob Ryan, author of Scribe: My Life in Sports with Dale and Holley

We sit down for an extended look at his new book with the great Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe.

10 Years since the Red So…

10 Years since the Red Sox began their comeback and eventual World Series Championship

Mikey, Villani and Lenny are talking about the 2004 Red Sox on the anniversary of Game 4 of the ALCS with Dave Roberts steal abd Bill Mueller driving him in and what it was like to witness.

The Patriots record during the regular season and Super Bowl

Mikey, Mut and Lenny are talking about the Patriots and how they have stacked up through the years and what got them to the three championships and five Super Bowl appearances in the Brady-Belichick era.

Bill Belichick and the Patriots Draft History

Mikey and Mut take a call from someone who wants to criticize Belichick the GM and his history of drafting players and making moves in the draft.

Sausage and Curtis fight …

Sausage and Curtis fight back 10-21-14

The Dennis & Callahan Show producers fight back.

D&C's Breaking Balls: The Proust Questionnaire and our producers suck 10-21-14

On this edition of Breaking Balls, Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss their producers' performance and take the Proust Questionnaire.

The Fantasy Football Hour with Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson - Week 7, 10-19-14

This week Pete gives the listeners a brief, but enthusiastic history lesson the ineptitude of the New York Jets. They also help you set your final rosters for your Week 7 fantasy teams.

Tom Brady on Peyton Manni…

Tom Brady on Peyton Manning's touchdown record 10-20-14

Tom Brady discussed Peyton's record breaking night.

More from this show

D&C's Breaking Balls: The…

D&C's Breaking Balls: The Proust Questionnaire and our producers suck 10-21-14

On this edition of Breaking Balls, Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss their producers' performance and take the Proust Questionnaire.

More from this show

Tim Hasselbeck on Manning…

The revenge of the produc…

The revenge of the producers 10-22-14

D&C react to Sausage and Curtis's podcast.

More from this show

Tedy Bruschi: I recognize…

Tedy Bruschi: I recognize the greatest of Manning, but I'm still going with Tom

Full Tilt, Full Time #54 Tedy Bruschi talks to Dale and Holley about a record breaking night for Peyton Manning, and a tough win for the Patriots this past Thursday.

More from this show

Weei Writers