After trailing 62-51 at halftime, the Lakers kicked it up a notch in the second half to pull out a 112-110 win over the Rockets on Tuesday.
It was the Lakers' third straight season-opening win and their eighth win in their last nine games vs Houston. The Rockets have defeated L.A. just twice since their win over the Lakers on opening night of the 2007-08 season.
The Lakers are now 41-22 all-time in season openers, and 14-4 when opening the regular season at home since moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles.
Tuesday's win leaves Phil Jackson one win away from joining Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens, Pat Riley and Jerry Sloan as the only NBA coaches with at least 1,100 wins.
Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday vs Rockets
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Pau Gasol had 29 points and 11 rebounds in the Lakers’ win over the Rockets. Since 1970-71 - the post-Wilt era for the Lakers - only three other players had that many points and that many rebounds on opening night: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1976), Shaquille O’Neal (three times: 1999, 2000 and 2001) and Lamar Odom (2006).
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: With their win, the Lakers are now 9-2 on opening day as defending NBA Champions since moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles following the 1959-60 season. The Lakers only opening day losses as defending NBA Champs over that span came in 1982 against the Warriors and 2002 against the Spurs.