The Houston Rockets upset the West’s top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers 112-97 in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Friday night in the Orlando bubble.
Houston’s small-ball approach — no players in the starting lineup over 6’7″ — has been heavily debated, but the Rockets had a terrific defensive effort to hold a team featuring LeBron James and Anthony Davis to 42.2% shooting from the field and 97 points.
After the game, Rockets star guard James Harden told the media, “You can be seven-feet tall, but if you don’t have heart, it don’t matter. If you don’t have a dog in you, it doesn’t matter.”
Harden on people calling the Rockets small: "You can be 7 feet tall but if you don’t have heart it doesn’t matter. If you don’t have dog in you it doesn’t matter.”
He said almost the exact same thing Feb. 6 in the Staples Center locker room.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) September 5, 2020
Offensively, the Rockets got 23-plus points from three players, with Harden leading the way with 36 points.
Game 2 ⏩ Sun. (9/6) at 8:30pm/et on ABC pic.twitter.com/a2fdubEn2s
— NBA (@NBA) September 5, 2020
It will be quite a challenge for the Rockets to keep this up all series against James, Davis, and company, but this was a heck of a start to give them a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.