Kevin Porter Jr. says Rockets ‘love’ playing Lakers: ‘That’s usually when we raise our intensity’

Orel Dizon
3 Min Read

Kevin Porter Jr. may have added a bit more flavor to the Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets bout on Sunday by saying that his team loves playing the Purple and Gold.

It’s quite an interesting take from the 22-year-old guard, considering that the Lakers aren’t even among the top squads in the standings. However, despite its 39-38 record, L.A. still remains a distinguished opponent. In addition, it features some of the NBA’s top stars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

“We love playing the Lakers,” Porter said. “It’s the Lakers, at the end of the day. Bron, A.D., big names come in and that’s usually when we raise our intensity. And it’s our home. They’re coming in here. We have to protect our home.”

Porter and his teammates should definitely brace for the worst, especially because the Lakers have momentum and are on a mission to rack up wins to ensure a favorable position in the postseason.

Thanks in part to Davis and James, Los Angeles is currently sitting at the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference and one game behind the sixth seed. The team is determined to rise even further in the standings in hopes of securing an outright playoff berth.

However, the Rockets could look to be spoilers and prove themselves worthy of beating one of the league’s marquee franchises.

On the other hand, Houston might have some incentive to throw in the towel against L.A. to increase its odds of winning the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. But based on Porter’s and Rockets head coach Stephen Silas’ statements, they intend to give the Lakers a difficult time on Sunday.

“It’s going to be fun,” Silas stated. “It’s going to be an opportunity to compete against the best. It’s going to be packed with the Final Four here — so many basketball fans in the building, tickets are hard to get right now. That’s a great atmosphere for our guys.

“You can include those other things where LeBron didn’t play last time, A.D. didn’t play last time; they’re playing this time and they need a game. It’s just going to be a fun atmosphere. We’re looking forward to it.”

For his part, Porter has done a solid job against the Lakers in his career. In five contests against the Purple and Gold, the 6-foot-4 guard has averaged 16.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists per match. The last time he faced L.A., he put up 27 points on 11-for-16 shooting along with nine rebounds and six assists.

It remains to be seen how the contest will turn out on Sunday. The Lakers faithful are surely hoping that Davis can continue dominating the competition while his teammates provide enough help to get the road win.

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Orel is excited about the prospect of “Showtime Lakers” making a comeback, thanks to the presence of the King and the arrival of the Brow.