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Russell Westbrook drops 41 points to lead Rockets past Lakers

Even with a tremendous size advantage, the Los Angeles Lakers couldn’t get past the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.

The Rockets, while playing without anyone 6-foot-6 or taller in the starting lineup, held on to beat the Lakers 121-111 at the Staples Center behind an impressive 41-point night from Russell Westbrook and a massive 16-3 run to close out the game.

Houston led throughout most of the contest, overcoming a brief seven-point hole early on. Neither team, however, was able to pull ahead further than that until the final minutes when Robert Covington drilled a clutch 3-pointer to put the Rockets up by nine with just under 90 seconds left.

From there, Houston held on to pick up the 10-point win, its fourth straight. It overcame a late seven-point Laker lead, too, holding them to only three points in the final 4:57 of the game.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 32 points and 13 rebounds. LeBron James added 18 points, 15 assists and nine rebounds, and both Danny Green and Avery Bradley put up 15 points.

Westbrook led the Rockets with 41 points and eight rebounds, shooting 17-of-28 from the field. He surpassed the 20,000 point mark in his career on Thursday night, too, becoming just the 46th player in league history to do so.

Thursday was also Westbrook’s first game at the Staples Center since Kobe Bryant’s death last month.

“I don’t take none of this game for granted. Kobe was a mentor, a friend, a brother to me,” Westbrook said on TNT. “Every time I step on this floor, its definitely going out to him. For the rest of my basketball career, every night I step on the floor I keep my thoughts and prayers with him and his family and go out and compete.”

Thanks to a 16-3 run in the final minutes, the Rockets snuck past the Lakers on Thursday night. (AP/Mark J. Terrill)

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