Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets: Preview, Analysis and Predictions

It's still early January. There's still plenty of time to turn things around.

But the Los Angeles Lakers are running out of time to do just that.

Following Sunday's 112-105 defeat at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, the Lakers have lost three straight. It's already their third losing streak of at least three games in their first 33 games of the 2012-13 season.

The Lakers have struggled mightily on the defensive end, allowing the fifth-most points in the NBA (100.8 points per game). With their starting backcourt a combined 72 years old and an offensive-minded coach (Mike D'Antoni) at the helm, their struggles to find stops are anything but surprising.

Their defensive issues may only be compounded with Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill all sidelined with injuries suffered during Sunday's loss.

And those defensive struggles are hardly what the team needs in Tuesday night's matchup with the Houston Rockets.

The Rockets are pacing the NBA with a blistering 106.2 points per game. Houston has topped the century mark in 12 of their past 16 games, scoring at least 120 points in five of those games.

Houston also enters the contest as one of the hottest teams in the league. They have won four consecutive games and 11 of their past 14.

The Lakers have a decisive advantage in terms of proven talent. But the Rockets have all of the ingredients to make L.A. look old and slow.


Time: Tuesday, January 8, 8 p.m. ET


Records: Los Angeles Lakers (15-18), Houston Rockets (20-14)

Betting Line: N/A


Injuries (via CBSSports.com)


Steve Blake (abdomen), out

Pau Gasol (concussion), out

Jordan Hill (hip), out

Dwight Howard (shoulder), out


None reported


Key Matchup

Kobe ...

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