The high-powered Houston Rockets were flying high amidst their 14-game winning streak coming into their matchup with the upstart Los Angeles Lakers. Despite yet another spectacular 51-point outing from superstar shooting guard James Harden, the Lakers managed to escape with their biggest win of the 2017-18 NBA season.
Needless to say, Houston's loss came as a surprise to many. According to ESPN's Alykhan Bijani, head coach Mike D'Antoni even acknowledged the shocking defeat by jokingly assuming his team would never lose:
“Man I thought we’d never lose. I can’t believe we lost. I guess it happens.”
D'Antoni has become notorious for his playful comments with the media. That said, he has had the fortune of doing so thanks to the tremendous success the Rockets have enjoyed this year.
Although D'Antoni may have been joking, there is actually plenty of truth to Houston being almost unbeatable thus far in the year. They currently own the best record in the league at 25-5, while ranking among the NBA's best in both offensive and defensive rating.
Despite suffering a leg injury late in the game versus the Lakers, superstar point guard Chris Paul has proven to be the x-factor this team needed to take them to the next level. The Rockets had won 14 of their 15 games since his return in mid-November.