Lakers vs Rockets live stream: How to watch Game 5 of the NBA playoffs online

Lakers vs Rockets live stream game 5
(Image credit: Michael Reaves/Getty)
Lakers vs Rockets game 5 start time, channel

Lakers vs Rockets begins at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT today (Saturday, Sept. 12). It's airing on ESPN (the NBA playoffs are also airing on ABC and TNT). The full series schedule is below.

The Lakers vs Rockets live stream of game 5 cannot be anything less than a triumph, at least for LeBron James, who is practically unwilling to do anything in less than dominant fashion. You can tell because of how game 4's post-play press conference showed the biggest name in the league a bit disappointed, even though his team won. 

And when he said "We’ve got to close out games the right way," in that conference, you could easily hear him thinking the same thing about this series. If Houston manages to take tonight's game 5, and delay the Lakers' trip to the Western Conference finals of the NBA playoffs, that has two potentially terrible ramifications. 

And while less rest before the winner of the Clippers vs Nuggets series advances to join them would be annoying, you don't want to give James Harden and Russell Westbrook chances to steal this series and push it to a game 7. 

To finish this, the Lakers will likely continue the lineup that some claim is "small ball" (at least for LA) that matches the Rockets. Yes, we live in a world where Anthony Davis' 6'11" frame can be put on a team that's called small in some way. Baffling. 

Of course, Houston's keys to success to be in finding offensive contributions from outside their all-star pair of Harden and Westbrook. So that means eyes will be on Eric Gordon and Jeff Green to see which of them can be a force with the rock to spread the Lakers' attentions.

Here is everything you need to watch the Lakers vs Rockets live stream for game 5.

How to avoid Lakers vs Rockets blackouts with a VPN

NBA Playoff series live streams

Clippers vs Nuggets live stream
(LAC leads 3-2)
– Heat vs Celtics live stream
(Series starts Tuesday, Sept. 15)

If you've had to leave your own "bubble" -- or you've been hit by a dreaded local blackout -- and you can't watch Lakers vs Rockets live streams on cable, you're not out of luck. With a virtual private network, or VPN, you can appear to be surfing the web from your home town (or somewhere that blackouts won't hit), and access the same streaming services you already paid for. 

Not sure which VPN is right for you? We've tested many different services and our pick for the best VPN overall is ExpressVPN. It offers superb speeds and excellent customer service. But you've got other VPN options as well. Here are our top picks.


We think speed, security and simplicity make ExpressVPN second to none. During our tests, we saw fast connection times, and we're impressed by the service's ability to access more than 3,000 services spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. There's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied.

Lakers vs Rockets live streams in the US

In the U.S., viewers can watch Lakers vs Rockets game 5 today (Thursday, Sept. 12) at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. NBA playoff games are also airing on ABC and TNT.

If you've already cut the cord and don't have a cable package, you'll be able to get this game on Sling TV and fuboTV. ESPN and TNT are both included in the Sling Orange package, which costs $30, while Fubo's $60 per month Standard package is lacking TNT.

They are two of the picks on our best streaming services list, but Sling doesn't have ABC (though you can get it with one of the best TV antennas).

Sling TV:

Sling TV: You can get ESPN in the Sling Orange package. The more than 30 channels in the lineup include AMC, CNN, Food Network, AMC, Comedy Central, HGTV and TNT.


Fubo.TV: If you love sports, you probably want to check out Fubo.TV. It's got a 7-day free trial so you don't need to pay up front. The channel lineup includes ABC and ESPN, as well as other top networks including Bravo, FX, MTV and USA. Plus, it's got NBA TV (in the $5.99 fubo Extra add-on), which will have other playoff games.

Lakers vs Rockets live streams in the UK

British basketball fans will have to stay up late to catch the Lakers vs Rockets live stream at 1 a.m. BST. The game will air on  Sky Sports, and those without Sky Sports can pick it up from Now TV, with prices starting at £9.99.

NBA League Pass is also available in the U.K., at £42.99 for the rest of the year and serves up all of the games with no blackouts.

Lakers vs Rockets live streams in Canada

Hoops fans in Canada can watch Lakers vs Rockets on TSN, which can be added to your package if you don't have it already. Game 4 is on TSN4.

NBA League Pass is also available in Canada.

Lakers vs Rockets series schedule

(all times ET)

  • Game 1: Rockets 112, Lakers 97
  • Game 2: Lakers 117, Rockets 109
  • Game 3: Lakers 112, Rockets 102
  • Game 4: Lakers 110, Rockets 100
  • Game 5: Sat., Sept. 12, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
  • *Game 6: Mon., Sept. 14, TBD (TNT)
  • *Game 7: Wed., Sept. 16, TBD (TNT)

* = if necessary

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.