For the second consecutive game, Kobe Bryant came out firing and put on a show.
As he did in New Orleans, Bryant played all 12 minutes of the opening quarter before sitting the duration of the second period. In New Orleans, Bryant scored 14 points in the first period. In Houston, the 37-year-old did one better and finished with 15 points after 12 minutes, which were good enough to take game-high honors into the halftime intermission.
In the third quarter, though, the Houston Rockets came out with a flurry of forcing turnovers and almost immediately extended their two-point halftime lead to 12 points. Then, Bryant put on his super hero cape and saved the Lakers once again. As he had done in the first quarter, Bryant seized the moment and made buckets when LA desperately needed them to remain competitive in the game.
Bryant scored nine points in a row to cut the Rockets' advantage down to only three points. To end the third quarter, Bryant launched a deep three-pointer and arrived at 14 points for the quarter and 29 points for the game. Obviously, the fans in attendance nearly lost their minds, as chants of "Kobe! Kobe!" erupted several times in the period.
Bryant would go to the bench at the start of the fourth quarter to get his usual rest, and Rockets guard James Harden took full advantage to create a bit of separation for the home team. Harden scored 16 points in the first six and a half minutes of the decisive quarter, and the Lakers trailed by 13 points with five minutes remaining in the game.
Bryant returned to the game at that point, though his heroics would not save the Lakers this time around. The 37-year-old finished with 35 points, but Harden's 40-point day gave Houston a 130-110 victory.