Chris Duhon to start at point guard in Lakers-Rockets game

HOUSTON — The Lakers are making a change at the point guard spot.

But in this case, it has nothing to do with Steve Nash or Steve Blake returning to the lineup. It either has everything to do with shuffling the deck of a sinking shift, upgrading from within or both.

Chris Duhon will start at point guard when the Lakers (7-8) play the Houston Rockets (8-8) tonight here at Toyota Sports Arena instead of second-year guard Darius Morris. He’s started for the past 10 games, averaging 5.5 points on 35.7 percent shooting and 2.6 assists in 24.6 minutes during that span.

Although he likes Morris’ speed and work ethic, D”Antoni has played Duhon more in late-game stretches.

“If you start him, you can bring him back out and then rest him the last six minutes,” D’Antoni said of the move. “It makes sense. That’s the way it’s gone the last two games and I wasn’t able to find him rest. There’s no use him resting the first six minutes of the second half he’s not tired. But in the crux of the game, he’s tired. But I want him out there.”

Duhon, who has averaged three points on 42.4 percent shooting and 2.8 assists in 19 minutes through 13 games off the bench, also played for D’Antoni with the New York Knicks during the 2008-10 seasons. The 2008-09 campaign featured Duhon’s best career year, averaging 11.1 points and 7.2 assists in 36.8 minutes as a starter that season. D’Antoni acknowledged the past history factored into the lineup change.

“Duhon is used to the system,” D’Antoni said. “He’s comfortable with it and he gives us a flow that we have to have. Darius is learning it. It’s just a matter of time. But for us today in this position, it’s better for us for Duhon to be the guy that runs the offense right now.”

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and e-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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