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SportsPulse: Trysta Krick breaks down the never ending soap opera that is the NBA.
USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES (AP) — James Harden scored 36 points, Eric Gordon added 22 and the streaking Houston Rockets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 118-95 on Sunday night for their seventh consecutive victory.

Chris Paul had 21 points for Houston, which has won six straight road games and 13 of 14 overall. Harden handed out nine assists.

Kyle Kuzma led Los Angeles with 22 points, and Brandon Ingram added 18. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 16 and Larry Nance Jr. scored 15 for the Lakers, who lost their fifth game in a row.

Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball struggled again, missing all four shots from the field and finishing with two points and three assists.

The Rockets forced 21 turnovers and converted them into 27 points.

Houston first took control in the second quarter, outscoring the Lakers 34-19 as Los Angeles shot 31.9 percent in the period. Harden almost outscored Los Angeles by himself, putting up 16 points in the quarter.

The Lakers made a run at the Rockets to start the second half, going on a 21-9 spurt to pull within three. Houston scored the next nine points and Los Angeles never seriously threatened again.

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TIP-INS

Rockets: Have made an NBA-high 340 3-pointers, 50 more than second-place Golden State. Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said he wouldn’t be upset if a Rockets player was by himself on a fast break and pulled up for a 3. “No, not if he made it. I’d say, ‘Good shot.’ Nah, players wouldn’t do that. It would be crazy,” D’Antoni said. . F Ryan Anderson played only 12 minutes due to back tightness.

Lakers: Ball had a slight limp after Saturday’s game in Denver, the result of left calf tightness. He participated in the morning shootaround and was cleared to play Sunday night. In his first 20 NBA games, Ball is averaging 9.0 points, 7.1 assists and 7.1 rebounds while shooting 31.8 percent.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Play the second of three consecutive road games Thursday in Utah. Have lost four of the past six to the Jazz.

Lakers: Open a four-game road trip in Philadelphia on Thursday. The 76ers won the first meeting 115-109 three weeks ago.

NBA photo of the day

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