James Harden and company used timely steals and big buckets - both byproducts of the patented "small ball" lineup - to beat LA on Friday night, 112-97.
Harden led all scorers with 36 points. Russell Westbrook and Eric Gordon added 24 and 23 points, respectively.
Houston has a 1-0 series lead in the Rockets' West semifinal series.
Houston and Los Angeles face off in Game 2 set for Sunday night. The contest will air on ABC13 at 7:30 p.m.
The Rockets win is remarkable after they eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder in a Game 7 just two nights ago.
WATCH: Rockets put in a late night to eliminate OKC