The Lakers appear fatigued on a night when their performance lacks energy, resulting in a defeat against Houston.

The Lakers appeared fatigued and weary, resulting in a 135-119 loss to the Houston Rockets. The effects of their previous victory lingered, with five players logging over 40 minutes just two nights prior. However, Monday’s performance blurred the line between tiredness and lack of effort.

The Lakers faced a substantial deficit, trailing by 18 points in the first half while allowing a season-high 78 points. Their struggle to secure offensive rebounds, with only one in the first half compared to Houston’s nine, reflected a lack of desire.

The situation worsened as the Lakers trailed 108-83 after three quarters. Although a somewhat inspired fourth-quarter effort brought them within 10, a missed shot by Austin Reaves allowed the Rockets to quickly extend their lead.

Lakers center Anthony Davis acknowledged the Rockets’ physicality and aggression, emphasizing the Lakers’ defensive shortcomings. The statistical disparity was evident, with Houston dominating in points in the paint (68-56), fastbreak points (29-15), and second-chance points (19-6).

Rockets’ Jalen Green scored 34 points, complemented by a strong performance from rookie Cam Whitmore. Whitmore’s impactful dunks contributed to his 20-point total for the night.

Lakers Coach Darvin Ham stressed the need for consistent defensive play, highlighting the team’s ongoing defensive struggles. Despite individual efforts from Davis, Russell, and LeBron James, each scoring 23 points, the Lakers fell short, with a current record of 24-24.

D’Angelo Russell, who had been performing well in recent weeks, struggled on Monday, missing nine of 12 three-point attempts. Lakers reserve forward Jarred Vanderbilt was ejected in the second quarter after receiving consecutive technical fouls.

Looking ahead, the Lakers face the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, followed by challenging back-to-back games against Boston and New York, concluding their trip in Charlotte.

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