Highlights: Rockets pick apart Blazers
The Houston Rockets endured one heck of a way to wrap up the first seven days of their NBA season. Portland was their fourth game in five nights and fifth game in seven nights to open the season. They started slow, then had things going their way most of the night and fought hard to push back the Blazers, 116-101.
James Harden bounced back from his sub-par performance Monday night against the Clippers, to pace the Rockets with 33 points on 11-of-18 shooting. Dwight Howard put up a season high 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds.
The game was over when...
James Harden, late in the shot clock, rose up from behind the 3-point line and knocked down the shot for points 31, 32 and 33. When Pat Beverley followed with a steal and layup, the Rockets lead was back up to 13.
Look who's back already
After suffering a partial tear of a muscle in his midsection in the season opener last Wednesday night, it was announced that guard Pat Beverley would be out for 10-14 days for rehabilitation and would then be re-evaluated. Beverley acting even then as if he'd return to the court more quickly and he was right. He returned after missing just three games and came off the bench with 5:57 elapsed in the first quarter. Rockets were a plus-5 with Beverley on the court in the first quarter.
Beverley also picked up a technical foul 36 seconds into the second quarter disputing a referee's call.
Highlight of the night
In the middle of the second quarter, after forcing three Blazers misses on one end, Howard grabbed his eighth rebound and started the fast break. He found Omri Casspi who pushed the ball up the court and floated a pass up to Chandler Parsons for the flying alley-oop throwdown. It was part of a Rockets 11-0 run that turned a four point deficit into a seven point lead.
Next up for the Rockets, they return to Toyota Center to face the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night. Later tipoff than usual in Houston at 8:30 p.m. The Lakers were beaten soundly on Tuesday night in Dallas, 123-104. The Rockets and Lakers will meet four times this season, they split their four meetings last season with the home team winning all four times.