Game 4 between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers was a roller-coaster ride for both teams. In the end, the Lakers clinched victory and drove themselves to a commanding position in their second-round series. The purple and gold just need one more victory to advance to the 2020 WCF. Can they close out the series in Game 5?
The previous game between both teams was dominated by LeBron and the Lakers. They stood out on both ends of the court and put in effective numbers on the defensive end in particular. The Rockets lacked spirit for most parts of the game, but came back strong in the fourth quarter to enjoy a 17-2 run against their opponents.
But, it proved to be too late, as the Lake show already took cruise control. They delivered the final blow which sent Houston out of the game. With a series win for the Lakers imminent, it is just a matter of when it’s coming. Game 5 will be intense, and let us take a look at the injury list ahead of the crucial matchup.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets: Injury Report
Both teams have no player out due to major injuries. So that’s a tone of relief in that concern. However, the Lakers have missed out on the services of Dion Waiters in their previous two games.
The 28-year-old’s groin problems are keeping him away from playoff action, but he’ll be back in no time. CBS Sports have listed Waiters’ status as “expected to be out till Sep.12,” and we feel his availability will be a game-time decision when coach Vogel prepares for the fifth game of the series.
On the other hand, the Rockets are clean when it comes to player injuries. They have a completely healthy roster, but lack a major contributor. 27-year-old Danuel House Jr. was ineligible to compete in Games 3 and 4 for personal reasons. The league is looking into his case, and we’re unsure if House can play in the upcoming game.
Starting Lineups and Predictions
A lot is on the line in Game 5 for both teams. Let’s start with the Lakers first. If they notch up a win, the 16x champs will advance to the western conference finals for the first time in ten years!
The past decade has not been so easy on the Lakers, and it is about time they avenge for all the shortcomings over the years. Thus, Frank Vogel won’t be taking any chances and would look to put out the strongest five during tip-off.
Lakers’ starting lineup
LeBron James (G)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (G)
Danny Green (F)
Anthony Davis (F)
Markieff Morris (C)
On the other hand, the Rockets face a challenging task in Game 5. Their entire season’s on the line! It’s all or nothing for James Harden and the team, who’ll be looking to register a victory to keep their hopes alive.
All their focus would be on perfecting their offense in Game 5, an area that letdown Houston in the most recent defeat. With that being said, here’s the possible starting lineup Mike D’Antoni will go with:
Rockets’ starting lineup
Russell Westbrook (G)
James Harden (G)
Eric Gordon (F)
Robert Covington (F)
P.J. Tucker (C)
It really doesn’t seem like there’s any way back for the Rockets in this series. They currently trail 1-3 against the Lakers and have suffered three straight losses as a team. They looked gassed out in the previous game, and James Harden can’t pose a threat when LA suffocated his offensive skill.
If the Lakers stick to their game plan from their recent victory, then success is assured. Besides a Laker fan, a neutral NBA enthusiast can tell you that the Rockets look down and out, and that is why the purple and gold might clinch the upcoming tie and propel their way to the ECF!