HOUSTON — Slumps happen. It’s just the reality of sports. And Houston Rockets guard Lou Williams was dealing with one.
Over a six-game stretch, he had shot just 24.6 percent from the field and made only 23.3 percent of his 3-point shots.
On Wednesday night against his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, Williams made his first seven shots and hit consecutive buckets to start the fourth quarter, as the Rockets rolled 139-100. Williams finished with a team-high 30 points, making 11 of 17 shots and converting 7 of 9 3-point attempts.
“It’s been a while,” said Williams, who added seven assists. “I’ve had some ups and down. It’s been a while since I shot the ball that well. But tonight was just a good night for me. I felt confident in the shot and got off to a good start, and I was able to carry it on.”
Williams was just playing while in Los Angeles, where he did score the basketball, yet the wins just weren’t there. Wednesday night’s game provided glimpses of what the Lakers might be with the talented Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram. But the struggles of D’Angelo Russell also were evident, as were other reasons why the Lakers have been sinking.
Williams didn’t derive added satisfaction by having a big night against his former team, because he remembers well what it felt like being a part of that lottery-bound franchise.
“No, I was with those guys three weeks ago,” Williams said. “I’ve been through some of the same struggles that they’re still going through, and I just wanted to go out and compete and not rub it in their face and just play. I’ve developed some relationships with those guys, and when you’re losing, it tends to build the character of everybody together. I’ve developed some relationships with those guys over there. Some of those young guys are genuine good guys going out there to compete as hard as they can and not getting the job done, and it’s tough.
“I just wanted to compete tonight.”