Kyle Kuzma erupts for 38 while Chris Paul gets hurt
Ever since Chris Paul made his season debut with the Houston Rockets upon fully-recovering from his injury, things have been going well for the Rockets as they didn't lose a game in all of the games that CP3 played with the team. They went down a couple of times but either CP3 or James Harden would save the Rockets from an imminent defeat to come up victorious.
However, everything has a limitation.
As painful as it may sound especially for the fans of James Harden and company, their team's 14-game winning streak is no more as they were defeated by none other than the Los Angeles Lakers, 122-116.
While the Rockets were able to keep it close during the latter parts of the 4th quarter despite Chris Paul leaving with 10 minutes left in the game due to a sore leg, it only proved one thing: despite James Hardens 51 points, the Rockets aren't a complete team just yet without Chris Paul in the line-up.
So what doomed the Rockets and their winning streak?
Kyle's Kuz-mazing 38 Points
Kyle Kuzma has been outplaying his more popular rookie teammate, Lonzo Ball and his performance against Houston is no different at all. Kuzma started the game blazing hot, making the first 6 of his 3-pointers before cooling down a bit. By the end of the game, Kuzma has already surpassed his previous career high to come up with 38 points on a 12 for 17 shooting include 7 for 10 from deep. He also had 7 rebounds and 4 assists while playing for 40 minutes.
15 Turnovers for Houston
James Harden had 6 of those turnovers. The turnover problem could be associated with Chris Paul's absence especially in the 4th quarter as Harden had to take over the ball-handling responsibilities- something that CP3 has done marvelously. However, we all have to keep in mind that the Lakers are among the top 10 teams in the league when it comes to forcing their opponents to commit those turnovers.
Chris Paul's Struggles and Departure Hurt the Rockets
Before he was taken out of the game for good, Chris Paul has been visibly struggling on the court. He only had 8 points on a horrible 2 for 7 field goal shooting. He also had 3 turnovers and only played for 28 minutes. Although James Harden had 9 assists to go along with his 51 points, there's no other point guard who can create scoring opportunities better than Chris Paul himself.
While Houston's latest setback doesn't change the fact that they are still the best team in the NBA as we speak, they better pray that Chris Paul will be ready to play come the Rockets' next game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Why? James Harden cannot do everything on his own.