Caruso also plays

The Lakers dominated in a masterful way until the last three minutes, when they almost let themselves go back. Caruso solved with a triple clef. Davis, 29 + 12 + 5.


Make no mistake: the Lakers have had a great game. They've mastered every facet of the game, exploited their opponent's weak points, and proven they have a version that can win the ring. We do not know if they will end up succeeding, but the road is what they have traveled for three-quarters and nine minutes, slowly but surely, increasing advantages, controlling the times well and making the right decisions at the right times. All have contributed to the Los Angeles team, in which all the players who have played a minute (nine) have scored, with six over ten and an imperial Anthony Davis on both sides of the court (29 + 12 +5, with 2 blocks) and being the MVP of a game that the Lakers have complicated in the end. Perhaps because of the apathy shown by his rival throughout the match or because of an excess of confidence that can penalize you a lot in the playoffs. One way or another, it has all been solved with a 3-pointer from a hero named Caruso and a steal from him on Eric Gordon. The point guard has been crowned with 16 points (and a formidable defensive work) and has had to come to the rescue of some Lakers who, we repeat, have developed their potential to the maximum until the last three minutes.

The Lakers came out confident and confident, with a change in the lineup from a Vogel that is proving to go far beyond that coach who had problems with matchmaking in his time in Indiana. The coach already saw where the shots were going in the first game and took Howard out of the rotation, minimizing the minutes of a McGee whom he has relegated to the bench today (0 minutes) in favor of a Markieff Morris who was already incredibly active in the first quarter of the second quarter and poses fewer problems when crossing Tucker or Covington, especially when defending on the 3-pointer. It also gives more mobility in attack and generates more spaces, freeing the area for Davis and LeBron to occupy it interchangeably. The second period was the laker explosion, with the surprise invitation of a rookie, Horton-Tucker, which meant the umpteenth bench move by a spotless Vogel today; In seven minutes, the 19-year-old rookie had 5 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals with a +9 with him on the court, and the Lakers went into the break with a favorable 41-57, leaving the Rockets with an unrecognizable attack, only 3 of 13 in triples and far behind on the rebound, almost half that of his rivals (27-14) .

The third period was the confirmation of dominance (29-29), although it was no longer overwhelming. The Lakers were dedicated to controlling and did so by letting time pass but without stopping attacking, something they maintained in the last 12 minutes of shock. LeBron widened the gap (16 + 15 + 9 at the end) and Rondo made his third consecutive masterful game from the bench. In fact, it may be the first time he has been three in a row like this since he came to the Lakers ... but of course, he had not played the playoffs until now: 11 + 10 + 8 for the point guard, who added 2 steals and it was calm in the nervousness that seized the Lakers in the last minutes, when their advantages had exceeded twenty and the meeting seemed doomed to a low-gloss and inertia ending. The Rockets gave him some excitement, who approached five (100-105) with just under two minutes and based on shooting a huge number of free throws, up to 39 (by 16 for the Lakers). The representation of that way of scoring was, of course, a Harden who went to 21 points, 16 from the line. In fact, he made the same field goals (2) as Horton-Tucker, only he played 39 minutes for just seven of the rookie. La Barba did not have his day and the Texans had their best man in Westbrook, something that is never good at all: 25 points for the only player to break Houston's extremist scheme, trying a whopping 8 triples (scored 3), too high a figure for him. In fact, he's only pitched more than 7 in two games this season ... both in this series.

The end is already known how it was: with 5 up, LeBron exhausted possession and enabled Caruso in the corner who sentenced without hesitation. And in case there were any doubts, he stole the ball from Eric Gordon (19 points) on the next play. All before Rondo, in transition, hit the ball against the board for LeBron to crush coming from behind and thus certify the conclusion of a match from which he was left with an assist of triple-double, which would have been achieved if Rondo (who was it was 2) would have scored the layup (had received the pass from James) instead of enabling his partner. Curiosities aside, the Rockets are now on the edge of the abyss and with feelings that are light years away from a result that can be misleading but represents the same as any other in which the Lakers have added more points than their rival. At the end of the day, the difference is laughable when what counts is that the Angelenos dominate 3-1, a result that has only been traced 12 times in history; and that they do it with a masterful performance, one of the best they have had since everything resumed in the bubble. One with a small mistake that better serves as a warning now than against the Clippers (everything indicates that it will be them) and that it was managed that way but ended with a happy ending and left Vogel sighing and the squad rubbing their hands while their rivals they were too exhausted even to influence protests that are becoming a general trend in the bubble. Or maybe they always have been, but now they are heard more. For that reason of the absence of public and such.

Little more to add. The purists rub their hands against the Los Angeles team, which doubled their rival in points in the zone and left them without scoring second chances or counterattack until the last period, doubling in rebounds (52 to 26) to that ultra small ball which is as revolutionary as it is dysfunctional at this point, a bit like the style of the team that has carried it out and that has always stumbled in the playoffs, against the Warriors or against themselves. The Lakers, one win from their first Western finals since 2010. And we already know how that ended. The Rockets, who lost scoring five triples and 15 free throws more than their rivals (something that had never happened before in the playoffs), to a loss that will certify, as a franchise, that they have not reached the Finals for a quarter of a century; and as a project ... well, we'll see that. But everything seems to indicate that in those 27 consecutive failed triples the opportunity of the Harden project escaped, one that is in the last stages and with almost no possibility of looking for a last (again) opportunity. Houston sinks in the light of Los Angeles and the tie, like the Clippers, hangs by a thread. Saturday could be the sentence and the dream series could be confirmed (Lakers-Clippers). For now, the Angelenos will have to continue pulling defense and talent to solve the series. And LeBron, Davis, Rondo ... and Caruso, of course. That we had forgotten. Caruso also plays.

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