Kobe Bryant scored a career-high 38 points to lead the Lakers to a 93-86 victory over the Houston Texans on Wednesday night, ending their eight-game winning streak and their season-high three-game losing streak in the series.
Bryant added 11 rebounds and eight assists.
He also scored in double figures in the Lakers’ second straight victory over Houston.
“I’m just very proud of my teammates,” Bryant said.
“They put their heart and soul into every single play.”
Kobe and his teammates were joined by former Houston Rockets star Klay Thompson and former Rockets guard Chris Paul, who were on the sidelines for the game.
Kendrick Perkins had 16 points for the Lakers.
After the Rockets shot just 35 percent in the first half, Bryant put his team on his back to end the game with a 3-pointer with 7:22 remaining.
Jrue Holiday added 15 points for Houston, which is 2-10 since its Feb. 25 game at the Forum.
D’Angelo Russell had a career high 21 points, but was just 1 of 9 from beyond the arc in the loss.
Russell, who is averaging 24.4 points in the regular season, has totaled 13.6 rebounds in five games against the Lakers this season.
Houston also shot 54 percent from the field and 29 percent from 3-point range in the second half, and committed a season-worst 15 turnovers.
The Rockets (18-28) were playing without guard Clint Capela, who has been out since Feb 1 with a sprained right ankle.
In the first quarter, the Rockets had just two field goals.
However, they converted two free throws and one missed three-pointer as the Lakers rallied.
Andre Roberson had 16 rebounds and four assists for Houston.
The Rockets led by as many as 17 points in a nine-minute span in the opening period.
Bryant had 26 points and 15 rebounds in the fourth quarter, which was also the only time he had more than five rebounds.
With the Rockets down by as much as 24, the Lakers held on for the win.
It marked the first meeting between the teams since Jan. 25, 2019, when Bryant, Thompson and the Lakers defeated the Rockets 96-93 in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals.
The game also marked the seventh time the two teams have met in the postseason.