Friday, October 11, 2013
Houston Rockets beats Indiana Pacers in Manila (HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO)
The Houston Rockets became the first team to win an NBA preseason game on Philippine soil, defeating the Indiana Pacers, 116-96, on Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Following a splashy offseason that saw the team sign all-star center Dwight Howard, the Rockets were raring to show that they were the newest NBA title contenders. They did just that, scoring the first 12 points of the game to keep the Pacers at bay the rest of the way.
Howard struggled, finishing with nine points and three rebounds while committing five fouls and four turnovers. He also saw three of his shots blocked by Pacers center Roy Hibbert.
But the rest of the Rockets were on target led by James Harden, who scored 18 points in the first three quarters for an 84-75 lead heading into the final period.
Harden had an efficient performance with 21 points on just 12 shot attempts while Omri Casspi 17 points and 10 rebounds in a solid showing off the bench.
“It was a good test for us playing against one of the better teams in the league, especially defensively,” said Casspi
Fan favorite Jeremy Lin, who generated a buzz from the crowd when he touched the ball, struggled early but finished with 14 points and a team-high five assists for Houston.
It was a typical preseason game, with neither team looking particularly sharp through 48 minutes.
Lin finally found his touch in the fourth. He scored in transition and hit two free throws off another fastbreak play before starting the action on a nice passing sequence with Ronnie Brewer that resulted in a three-point play for Casspi.
The Rockets’ second unit romped in the fourth as Casspi and Donatas Motiejunas scored 14 and 10 points in the period, respectively.
Motiejunas scored 16 points while Parsons finished with 15.
The two teams’ next stop is Taiwan, where they will play the second leg of their preseason series.
Houston (116) – Harden 21, Casspi 17, Motiejunas 16, Parsons 15, Lin 14, Beverley 12, Howard 9, Brooks 5, Jones 5, Brewer 2, Canaan 0, Covington 0.
Indiana (96) – George 17, West 14, Johnson 11, G. Hill 10, Scola 10, Granger 9, Watson 9, Hibbert 6, Stephenson 4, Armstrong 4, Copeland 2, Butler 0, S. Hill 0, Mahinmi 0, Sloan 0.
Quarters: 31-24, 61-55, 84-75, 116-96
HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO BELOW: