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Houston Rockets

Russell Westbrook drops 41 points as 'small-ball Houston Rockets' record convincing win over the Los Angeles Lakers

With the Houston Rockets' trades over the past couple of days, their first contest with their super-small-ball lineup was against the Los Angeles Lakers.

And with all their starters standing at 6-foot-6 or shorter, James Harden took the opening tip.

Despite the oddity of their line-up, the Rockets competed all game and came out victorious, 121-111. Here are the biggest takeaways from the Rockets' debut of new-look small-small lineup.

Russell Westbrook's big night

Russell Westbrook finished with a game-high 41 points (17-of-28 FG), while also recording eight rebounds, five assists, finishing a +12 in his 37 minutes of action. En route those numbers, Westbrook joined the 20,000 point club, becoming just the 46th player in NBA history to reach thaat mark..

He also passed Lenny Wilkins for 14th on the league's all-time assists list.

In his on-court post-game interview, he paid tribute to Laker legend Kobe Bryant.

After a rough start with the Rockets, where he was still getting accustomed to his new team, of late Westbrook has been impressive to say the least, especially over the past month.

Westbrook's play helped the Rockets compete despite a rough shooting game from James Harden. The Beard finished with 14 points on 3-of-10 shooting and 1-of-6 from three, adding seven rebounds, and seven assists.

AD shines but Lakers fall to small-ball

Anthony Davis was the pick of the Lakers as he recorded 32 points on an efficient 14-of-21 shooting, adding 13 rebounds, three assists, three steals, three blocks, and zero turnovers in 40 minutes.

LeBron James nearly finished with a triple-double with 18 points, 15 assists, and nine rebounds but struggled shooting from the field.

He had the home crowd buzzing in the third quarter with this outstanding dunk in transition, but he shot 8-of-19 from the field and 1-of-8 from beyond the arc. He wasn't the only one though. The Lakers, as a whole, only knocked down nine 3-pointers in 31 attempts.

"Our offensive rhythm was out of sync. We didn't play with a high enough motor," Lakers' head coach Frank Vogel said in the post-game press conference.

In the second quarter, Anthony Davis sprained his right index finger but halftime X-ray results were negative. Post-game, in the locker room, Davis said that his finger feels fine.

Rockets' small-ball shows positives, at least in Game 1

Robert Covington, who's acquisition sparked the Rockets' super small-ball line-up, had a great debut for his new team.

Over the last 4:30 minutes of the game, with a line-up of Harden-Westbrook-Covington-Tucker-Gordon, the Rockets sealed the game with a 16-3 run.

Covington knocked down 4-of-7 three-point attempts on his way to 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks.

It's only one game but the Rockets' small-ball lineup held their own on the glass, with the Lakers only outrebounding them by one (38-37).

While the Lakers outscored them in the paint by 22 (62-40), the Rockets made that up with their shooting by knocking down 19 three-pointers while only allowing nine.

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