In a confusing finish with the Lakers down two and 10.9 seconds left on the clock, Jodie Meeks nearly turned the ball over on an out-of-bounds play when he passed the ball into ... nobody.
Wesley Johnson scrambled to collect the ball before it scooted across the court and out of bounds. The Lakers called for timeout with 3.4 seconds left. That set up Blake’s big shot.
Blake finished with 14 points, shooting 4 of 6 from three-point range. The Lakers shot 39.1% from the field and 45.7% from three-point range after shooting 78.6% from distance in the first half while building a 19-point lead.
The Houston center, playing against his former team for the first time since leaving via free agency in July, shot 5 of 12 from the line through that final stretch, giving the Lakers just enough room to steal the win.
James Harden finished with 35 points. Howard had 15 as the Rockets shot only 37.7% from the field.
Pau Gasol had a difficult night, often guarded by Howard, shooting 1 of 10 from the field for only two points. Gasol led the Lakers with 12 rebounds. Howard had 14 boards for Houston.
The Lakers improve to 3-3, getting their first win on the road. The Rockets fall to 4-2.
After the emotional victory, the Lakers will fly to New Orleans where they'll play the Pelicans on Friday night.
Houston will host the Clippers on Saturday.
The Rockets managed to whittle away most of the Lakers' lead, closing to within four points by the end of the third quarter.
James Harden leads all scorers with 28 points, getting half of his points at the free-throw line (14 of 16). The Rockets are shooting only 39.7% from the field and 25% from three-point range.
The Lakers dipped to 56% shooting from long range (14 of 25) but have taken only 10 free throws to the Rockets' 36.
The second quarter ground to a halt as the Lakers continually sent the Rockets to the free-throw line.
Houston went to the line 27 times in teh first half, making 18 (66.7%). James Harden took 13 free throws, seven more than the Lakers as a team. Harden scored 20 points to lead all scorers.