Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 20 of his season-high 46 points in the first period last night in Houston to start the Los Angeles Lakers to a 117-95 rout of the Rockets in an NBA game between Western Conference leaders.
It was the Lakers' 14th straight victory in Houston. Los Angeles has not lost at the Summit since Nov. 12, 1980. It was only the Rockets' second loss in 27 games at home this season.
Abdul-Jabbar's 46 points were the most ever scored by a Laker against Houston. Gail Goodrich scored 44 in 1974.
Akeem Olajuwnon led the Rockets with 18 points and Ralph Sampson finished with 17.
Abdul-Jabbar scored 26 points in the first half as the Lakers took a 66-47 lead.
Olajuwon scored six points and Rodney McCray and Sampson each had a basket as Houston outscored the Lakers, 10-2, over the first 2:14 of the third period to pull within 68-57.
Abdul-Jabbar hit back-to-back inside shots and Mike McGee sank a jumper to boost the Lakers back to a 17-point lead. Houston got within 86-76 on a Mitchell Wiggins layup with 11 minutes left in the game, but the Lakers outscored Houston, 9-1, over the next 2:28 to advance their lead to 18 points.
Abdul-Jabbar scored 20 first-period points, going nine for nine from the field, and the Lakers shot 81 percent to build a 38-31 lead.