The Lakers competed for a half at Staples Center on Tuesday night, long enough for Steve Nash to pass Mark Jackson on the NBA's all-time assists list, but the Houston Rockets demolished the Lakers in the second half, 145-130.
The Lakers (25-53) also locked in the worst record since the franchise move to Los Angeles -- behind the 1974-75 squad that won just 30. Even if the Lakers pulled out wins in their four final matchups, they'd end the season at 29-53.
Center Omer Asik, starting for the injured Dwight Howard (ankle), had a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds. Chandler Parsons scored 19 with eight assists. The Rockets were also without Patrick Beverley (knee).
The Lakers celebrated Nash's accomplishment after a solid first half, but the defense completely collapsed in the third quarter.
Jordan Farmar, who returned from a groin injury, contributed 15 points and eight assists off the bench. Nash played 13 minutes, scoring three with five assists.
The Lakers shot 46.3% from the field, but allowed Houston to shoot 57.7%, including 42.3% from three-point range (11-26). The Lakers hit 14 of 32 from behind the arc (43.8%), but offense wasn't exactly the issue against the Rockets.
The Lakers quickly fell behind the Rockets in the third quarter, in a big way. Houston out-scored the Lakers, 28-10, through six minutes to go up by 23 points.
The Rockets led by as many as 28, scoring 49 points in the period.
Houston shot 60.06% and 45.5% (10-22), hitting seven three-pointers in 10 tries after converting just 3-12 ( 25.0%) in the first half.
The Lakers finished the half down five as Houston’s' Terrence Jones scored 23 points in 22 minutes on 9-of-12 shooting. James Harden added 15 and Chandler Parsons 11 for the Rockets, who shot 53.2% from the field in the half.
Meeks led the Lakers with 16 points. Jordan Farmar added 11 off the bench while Ryan Kelly scored 10. The Lakers shot 41.7% from the field, but kept relatively close with seven three-pointers on 16 tries (43.8%).
Even without Dwight Howard, the Houston Rockets had a relatively easy time in the first quarter against the Lakers.
The Lakers (25-52) host the Houston Rockets (51-25) on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
While Houston has clinched a postseason berth, its still fighting for playoff position.
Jordan Farmar (groin) recently insisted he'd play Tuesday. Steve Nash (back) is consistently day-to-day, but should be available as well. Pau Gasol (vertigo), Chris Kaman (calf), Kobe Bryant (knee), Xavier Henry (knee, wrist) and Kent Bazemore (foot) are all out.
Dwight Howard isn't expected to play because of an ankle injury.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Rockets