Instant Replay: Rockets start with a W

Instant Replay: Rockets start with a W
October 30, 2013, 9:15 pm
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That’s why they play the games. Predicting what might happen on any given night is a pretty tough task. It would not be hard to believe that many predicted a season-opening win for the Rockets. That’s what they got on Wednesday night, 96 - 83, over Charlotte.

However, predicting what happened in between tipoff and the final buzzer would have been a near impossibility. Not one, not two but three Rockets players went to the locker room during the first half.

Harden took some time to evaluate his lower back, but he returned to the game.

Pat Beverley took a blow to the ribs and did not return to the game and Jeremy Lin needed to get bandaged up after suffering a cut under his chin.

Dwight Howard’s Rockets debut would have to be termed a success as he turned in a 17-point, 26-rebound effort.

Grab that rebound
The combination that had all the skeptics up in arms, seems to be working just fine. The Rockets started Omer Asik at center and Howard at power forward. The Rockets played zero first half minutes without at least one of them on the court.

The duo did some serious glass cleaning. Howard set a new career high for rebounds in a half with 17 in the first half and Asik grabbed 10 of his own. The Bobcats had 20 first half rebounds, or in other words seven fewer than the twin towers.

It all started with…
Pat Beverley dropped in a 3 from the wing for the Rockets' first points of the season. Houston missed its first five shots, including one attempt each from Asik and Howard in the paint.

The game was over when…
Harden threw an alley-oop from 25 feet in front of the basket to Howard to give the Rockets a 10-point lead at 78-68. Houston pushed the lead out to 12 and Charlotte never got closer than eight points the rest of the game.

Beverley’s start as a starter
An unfortunate but perfect example of why too much was made of which point guard would be the Rockets' starter. Beverley had to leave the game when he apparently took a shot to the ribs a few minutes into the second quarter. He would not return.

Lin was very sharp in the first half with eight points and no turnovers in twelve and a half minutes. But he also had to go to the locker room, when he had a nasty cut on his chin. He returned to finish out the first half, but while he was out of commission, Aaron Brooks saw his first six minutes of play. The team was plus-8 while he was on the court.

Highlight of the night
Very slow start for the Rockets on offense, but they got the Toyota Center crowd up on their feet with the alley-oop from Harden to Parsons. It gave the Rockets a 43-35 lead and came in a halfcourt set. A play I think we’ll see quite a bit this year. A lot of attention going to paid to Howard, which sometimes leaves the backside open.

Next up
The Rockets (1-0) will host the Dallas Mavericks at 7 p.m. at Toyota Center. Houston won just one of the four matchups with Dallas last season and has won just three of the last 16 games against the Mavericks.