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What is the Line on the LA Lakers vs. Houston Rockets Game 4

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:
Sep/10/2020

The Lakers @ Rockets Game 4 line had LA as a -5 favorite after opening at -5.5. We have seen the line shifting between -5 and -5.5.

The action was heavy early on the Lakers.  A few books had moved to -4.5 at one point.  A full shift to -5 or -4.5 might be a sign to back the Rockets here.

SCROLL DOWN FOR GAME PROPS

(Field Level Media) - The image of LeBron James running roughshod with the ball in his hands and Anthony Davis scoring inside the paint and from the perimeter with equal aplomb can render secondary other important facts.

For example: the Los Angeles Lakers concluded the regular season rated third in defensive efficiency.

But when the Lakers string together a series of defensive possessions where their rotations are stifling and their rim protection sufficient, their defensive might comes into clearer focus.

The Lakers haven't been a defensive juggernaut for the balance of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Houston Rockets. However, when they conjure the requisite effort, the results are irrefutable and -- for the Rockets -- seemingly impossible to counter and overcome.

The Lakers take a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 on Thursday near Orlando thanks largely to the defensive acumen they flashed in the fourth quarter in Games 2 and 3.

The Rockets have certainly enjoyed the fruits of their offensive skill for lengthy stretches this series, but momentum has turned in the fourth quarter in each of the past two games. And the Lakers' defense has dictated the terms.

"That's what we hang our hats on," said James, who recorded four blocked shots in Game 3.

"Since training camp, coach (Frank) Vogel and the coaching staff came in and said we want to be one of the best defensive teams if not the best in the league. And that's where it starts for us."

Trailing 92-90 entering the final period in Game 2, the Lakers held Houston to 2-for-8 shooting and forced two turnovers during a 14-4 run to the lead.

With the score knotted at 82 at the close of the third quarter in Game 3, the Rockets missed 4 of 6 shot attempts while committing three turnovers during the decisive stretch that fueled a 17-5 Lakers rally.

Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said fatigue undermined the Rockets' late-game performance, but the Lakers deserve full credit for harassing the Rockets into miscues and errant shot attempts.

"That fourth quarter, turned the ball over, not getting great shots (and the Lakers) coming down getting transition points, that was the game right there," said Rockets guard James Harden, who produced 33 points plus nine assists despite facing a steady stream of multiple defenders.

"Our pace (was poor). We weren't in attack mode. They did a good job of trapping and we didn't make them pay for it."

The impressive form Houston flashed in the series opener suddenly seems a hazy memory, with the Lakers utilizing a smaller lineup in the second half of Game 2 to control the action on both ends.

The Lakers will have an opportunity to take a stranglehold on the series in Game 4, but they will need to do more of what placed them in this enviable position.

The Rockets did erase a 21-point deficit with a 41-point third quarter in Game 2. Houston is capable of squaring this series if the Lakers ease off the throttle with any hint of complacency.

"Every time you lose a game in the playoffs your group is super desperate, and if you lose two in a row it just heightens even more," Vogel said. "We know they're going to come out with the backs against the wall mindset and really execute and play extremely hard on both ends of the floor, and play with desperation. We've got to make sure that we match that.

"What's happened so far in the series is behind us. They've got an offense and some players on their team and a system that will never allow us to be comfortable. So we've got to bring the same desperation."

Lakers @ Rockets Thu, Sep 10, 2020 EST

Rot Double Result Moneyline
2007 Lakers - Lakers     -120
2008 Tie - Lakers     +1800
2009 Rockets - Lakers     +450
2010 Lakers - Rockets     +600
2011 Tie - Rockets     +2500
2012 Rockets - Rockets     +260
 
Rot Highest Scoring Quarter Moneyline
2013 1st Quarter     +185
2014 2nd Quarter     +240
2015 3rd Quarter     +350
2016 4th Quarter     +300
2017 Tie     +1200
 
Rot Highest Scoring Half Moneyline
2018 1st Half     -155
2019 2nd Half     +105
2020 Tie     +4500
 
Rot Winning Margin Moneyline
2021 Lakers to win by 1-2 pts     +900
2022 Lakers to win by 3-6 pts     +450
2023 Lakers to win by 7-9 pts     +650
2024 Lakers to win by 10-13 pts     +550
2025 Lakers to win by 14-16 pts     +900
2026 Lakers to win by 17-20 pts     +900
2027 Lakers to win by 21 or more pts     +600
2028 Rockets to win by 1-2 pts     +1000
2029 Rockets to win by 3-6 pts     +600
2030 Rockets to win by 7-9 pts     +1100
2031 Rockets to win by 10-13 pts     +1200
2032 Rockets to win by 14-16 pts     +2200
2033 Rockets to win by 17-20 pts     +2200
2034 Rockets to win by 21 or more pts     +1100
 
Rot Team with Highest Scoring Quarter Moneyline
2035 Lakers     -145
2036 Rockets     +125
2037 Tie     +600
 
Rot 1st Half Winning Margin Moneyline
2038 Lakers to win by 1-3 pts     +500
2039 Lakers to win by 4-6 pts     +500
2040 Lakers to win by 7-9 pts     +600
2041 Lakers to win by 10-12 pts     +850
2042 Lakers to win by 13-15 pts     +1100
2043 Lakers to win by 16 or more pts     +900
2044 Rockets to win by 1-3 pts     +550
2045 Rockets to win by 4-6 pts     +650
2046 Rockets to win by 7-9 pts     +900
2047 Rockets to win by 10-12 pts     +1200
2048 Rockets to win by 13-15 pts     +2000
2049 Rockets to win by 16 or more pts     +1800
2050 Tie     +1200

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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