Houston Rockets All-Star James Harden explained what went wrong in Sunday's Game 2 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers opened a 21-point lead in the first half, but they gave up 41 points in the third quarter to fall behind. However, solid play from LeBron James and Anthony Davis paved the way for a comeback. In the end, Los Angeles managed to even the Western Conference Semifinals at one game apiece with a 117-109 victory. James finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, while Davis added 34 points and 10 rebounds.

Harden, who racked up 27 points and seven assists in defeat, noted that the Rockets gave the Lakers confidence early:

“They caught us off guard, but I think later in the game, we did a pretty good job of it,” Harden said, via The Athletic. “We just weren’t aggressive enough, and we didn’t attack their zone enough. We gave them confidence, and they started making shots. That’s it.”

Harden's teammate, Russell Westbrook, seemed to be out of sorts in Sunday's game. The Brodie struggled to find any sort of rhythm, finishing with just 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting from the field (1-of-7 from beyond the arc). Overall, Westbrook finished the matchup with a plus/minus score of minus-14. P.J. Tucker had 18 points, while Robert Covington added 17.

Harden touched on the Rockets' performance in the first half:

“They just came out and played harder than us, I feel like,” Harden said, via ESPN. “In the second half, we woke up and took the lead. We've just got to have that intensity at the beginning of the game and we'll be all right.”

Another factor that played against the Rockets in Game 2 was the gritty play of Rajon Rondo, who recently returned to the Lakers' rotation after a bout with back spasms and a broken thumb. Notably, Los Angeles outscored Houston by 28 points when Rondo was in the game. He had 10 points and nine assists, but his plus-28 is what stood out the most.

Game 3 is set for Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. ET, with TNT having live broadcast coverage. Will the Lakers be able to maintain their momentum, or will the Rockets bounce back?