Houston, you have a problem.
The Los Angeles Lakers advanced to the Western Conference Finals after bouncing back from losing the first game of the series to close out the Rockets 4-1.
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It was a bloodbath in Game 5 as the Lakers secured the comfortable 119-96 victory as a lifeless Rockets season came to an end.
LeBron James once again led the way for the Lakers, ending the close out game with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists.
The humiliating loss raises serious questions about the Rockets and their future after they made a blockbuster trade heading into the 2019/20 season.
A trade to secure Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder saw them give up Chris Paul along with first round draft picks in 2024 and 2026 along with pick swaps in 2021 and 2025.
The second round playoff loss makes it two in a row for the Rockets who currently have inflated contracts on their books for Westbrook ($132m) and James Harden ($133m). The duo are owed a combined $265.6m ($364.64m AUD).
As of right now the Rockets currently have a payroll for the 2020/21 season of $130 million with 10 players under contract.
Live NBA Playoff scores
The amount owed to the double super max players
As the Lakers ran away with the game, the frustrations began to boil over for Westbrook who didn’t take kindly to some words from the crowd.
Family members have joined players in the NBA bubble and been allowed to sit in a section in the stands with one player’s brother deciding to make his voice heard.
Lakers guard Rajon Rondo wasn’t going to let the scoreboard do all the talking as he let the Rockets know just how one-sided the contest was before his brother, William, let Westbrook hear about it as well.
William reportedly told Westbrook he was trash before giving him the Damian Lillard wave goodbye.
Russell Westbrook was getting into it with Rajon Rondo’s brother. 😳👀
He was escorted out shortly after.
(🎥: @BenGolliver) pic.twitter.com/cNvbV3J4j6
Westbrook spoke about the incident after the game and didn’t bite his tongue.
“People at the game are supposed to shut their mouth and watch the game. That’s the rules. (Rajon) Rondo was talking s***. So, he decided to hop in, too,” he said.
The Rockets will now enter the off-season with plenty of question marks hanging overhead with regards to their small ball style of play and if they can actually reach the next level led by Westbrook and Harden.
For the Lakers, they’ll now await the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers/Denver Nuggets series with LeBron James reaching the Conference Finals for the 11th time in his career.
LBJ downs Rockets with 36pts!
NBA: LeBron James took down the Rockets with an incredible performance, giving the Lakers a 2-1 lead in their playoffs series.
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