The Los Angeles Lakers tied the second-round series at one game apiece following Sunday's 117-109 Game 2 win over the Houston Rockets. It was not exactly a must-win game for the Lakers, who suffered a surprise loss in the series opener on Friday, but it was a key win nonetheless.

For the Rockets, some adjustments need to be made for Game 3. They were outstanding in Game 1, but the Lakers punched back with a strong Game 2, dominating at times and showing an ability to withstand runs.

There are more than a few takeaways from this game, and below we've rounded out three of them.

1. A game of runs

The best way to describe Game 2 is that it was a back-and-forth contest in every sense of the term.

Coming off a disappointing loss in the opener, the Lakers came out firing out of the gate in Game 2. They were very aggressive on both ends of the floor, and this resulted in Los Angeles outscoring Houston 36-20 in the first quarter. The Lakers' lead ballooned to 21 points at one point in the second quarter.

LeBron James, James Harden, Lakers, Rockets

The Rockets did not let up. They could have very easily folded in this one after the Lakers' hot start. But to their credit, Houston mounted quite a comeback in the third. The Rockets went on their own run, outscoring the Lakers 41-23 in the third. Houston actually held a two-point lead entering the fourth and final frame.

The Lakers stepped it up in the fourth quarter, and their defense was tremendous. They allowed the Rockets just 17 points (they scored 27), which in the end, resulted in the 117-109 victory.

Game 2 was characterized by runs, and this should be a good preview of how this series will go moving forward. It's about being able to take the blows from the opposite side, counter-punching, and then ultimately delivering the knockout punch when it matters most.

Anthony Davis: Best of both worlds

The big question entering this series is what approach the Lakers would take to match Houston's micro-ball approach. The Rockets proved in Game 1 that while they may be undersized, they are by no means undermatched.

In Game 2, it was Anthony Davis' time to prove a point: he could serve as the anchor regardless if the Lakers opted to go small or if they chose to take advantage of the disparity in height.

Anthony Davis, Lakers

The Lakers started big again in this one, with Davis playing alongside JaVale McGee in the frontcourt. Los Angeles went on a huge run in the first, and while McGee ultimately ended up playing just eight minutes due to an ankle injury, it was clear that Davis was more than happy to play his preferred power forward role in this one.

After McGee was pulled out, however, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel decided to use Davis at the center position throughout the contest. Dwight Howard even ended up logging a healthy DNP-CD in this one, with Markieff Morris getting more minutes and making an impact as well.

The undersized P.J. Tucker may have had Davis' number in Game 1, but the Lakers superstar was much more aggressive in Game 2 — on both ends of the floor. Davis finished with a game-high 34 points on a very efficient 15-of-24 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists, and a block in 36 minutes of play.

The Lakers played their own version of small ball with Davis at the 5, and his outstanding performance in Game 2 just shows that he will need to be dominant down low in order for them to succeed with this tactic moving forward.

The X-factor: Rajon Rondo

Much has been made about the absence of Avery Bradley for the Lakers. The veteran guard is a premier defender, and he would have matched up great with James Harden. Be that as it may, what seems to be overlooked at this point is how big of a deal the return of Rajon Rondo is for the Lakers.

Playoff Rondo came out to play in Game 2, and the NBA champion point guard proved that he could be the Lakers' X-factor the rest of the way by badly outplaying Russell Westbrook. The Rockets star was brutal for much of the game, while Rondo provided a game-changing performance.

Lakers, Rajon Rondo

Rondo was not exactly at his best in Game 1, and this was completely understandable considering how that was the 34-year-old's first game back after a six-month hiatus. It didn't take long for Rondo to get his bearings, and he was amazing for the Lakers in Game 2.

Rondo finished with 10 points, three rebounds, nine assists, and just one turnover in 29 minutes off the Lakers' bench. He also made big contributions on defense, racking up five steals and constantly pressuring Houston's guards. He set the tone for his squad on defense, and by doing so, reminded all of us of how important he can be for the Lakers in this series. The veteran point guard was a whopping plus-28 in those 29 minutes.

If Rondo consistently outplays Westbrook the rest of the way, Houston has a major problem. The Rockets star had 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting and seven turnovers in 33 minutes. Houston was outscored by 14 points in Westbrook's minutes.