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Kuzma's late basket Supplies Lakers 3rd straight win

Despite overlooking LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers are keeping alive their slim hopes of attempting to prevent the play-in tournament.

The defending NBA champions have won three straight for the first time as the middle of March, but stay in seventh position in the Western Convention.

"It is time to tighten the screws and get back on the right track," said Kuzma, who finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. "We will need to continue to perform the ideal way and with every other, which will bode well when we're at full power."

James (sprained ankle) and Davis (groin) weren't in the lineup, however talked to fans prior to the game after the Lakers introduced the banner to get their 17th NBA tournament prior to the match. They held away from doing this until lovers were eventually permitted to attend games at Staples Center.

Even though James and Davis reiterated the desire to win back championships, the Lakers (40-30) may face a long street. They're just one game behind Portland and Dallas from the struggle for a top six place, which would let them prevent being in second week's play-in tournament. However, the Trail Blazers and Mavericks won the season series on the Lakers and maintain the tiebreakers.

Los Angeles' best hope is to win out and expect Dallas or Portland shed their final two matches.

On the other hand, the Lakers' slim hopes nearly flickered off against Houston.

The Lakers led 121-113 with 2:57 remaining, but the Rockets scored nine consecutive points to move up with a point in the last minute. Following a timeout, Kuzma managed to drive the lane and evaluate the go-ahead points.

"I took my time and waiting for all to sew out. I had been attempting to obtain an angle into the basket and it worked out nicely," Kuzma said.

Houston had a last chance, but Kelly Olynyk had the ball stolen by Wesley Matthews with 0.9 seconds remaining. Talen Horton-Tucker -- that led the Lakers with 23 points -- hit the free throw, but missed the second.

Horton-Tucker, who struck on the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime of Tuesday night's win over the New York Knicks, got his fourth start of the year with Alex Caruso sidelined because of foot discomfort. He had 10 assists for his fourth double-double of this season whilst adhering a season-high 37 moments.

"He has had to flex a good deal and continues to be helping us the previous two matches," Lakers coach Frank Vogel explained.

Olynyk and Armoni Brooks scored 24 apiece for the Rockets (16-54) and Kenyon Martin Jr. additional 20.

"I believed as a group we played nicely. We had a late lead but could not come out on top. It's something we could build on and keep moving," Olynyk said.

Thomas, who had four points, would be the 24th player to create a minumum of one beginning with the Rockets this year. ... Cameron Oliver (17 points) is the next Rockets newcomer since 1990 to have played 10 or more points from each of the first two matches, linking Cuttino Mobley (1998-99) and Kennard Winchester (1990-91). ... Danuel House Jr. and DaQuan Jeffries were inaccessible after suffering ankle injuries Monday.

Lakers: Los Angeles scored a franchise-record 86 points from the paintbreaking the old mark of 82, which was put against Houston in 2017. It's likewise the third-highest single-game complete from the paint at the league this year. ... Markieff Morris got the start in place of Davis and ended with 14 points. ... Alfonzo McKinnie, who hadn't played in a couple of the previous 3 matches, had 10 points.

Lakers: Traveling to Indiana on Saturday.

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