Rockets overcome injuries to win opener
The Houston Rockets were able to open their season with a win, topping the Charlotte Bobcats, 96-83 Wednesday night at Toyota Center.
To do so, they had to overcome injuries to each of their top three guards.
In fact, both starting guards, James Harden and Pat Beverley, and key reserve Jeremy Lin all had to make their way to the locker room before the first half had even concluded.
Harden was the first to go down. He came to the bench to check out for the first time in the game at the 1:12 mark of the first quarter. He immediately motioned for the doctors and trainer Keith Jones. He was holding his lower back and a few minutes later he went to the locker room.
He missed less than six minutes of action before returning to the game to play the final 8:14 of the first half.
“It just got real tight. I felt a little tightness this morning,” Harden said. “(We) just tried to stretch it out. It really got tight throughout the game. I couldn’t really move the way I wanted to. Trainers did a good job of trying to push through it.”
He also noted after the game he injured his left wrist when he fell on it during the game, but he said he expected to play in their next game on Friday night against the Mavericks.
Harden still led the team in scoring 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting.
Pat Beverley had to head into the locker room, three minutes into the second quarter after he hurt his ribs. He checked out of the game and wasted no time heading straight past the Rockets bench into the locker room with Jones.
He returned to the bench during the second half, but did not return to the game and had already begun receiving treatment. The team doesn't think his injury is serious.
Less than two minutes later, Lin had a cut open up just under his chin that forced him out of the game.
He returned before the quarter ended, but stitches are likely in his future.
“I have to go see the doctor, we just threw something on there so I could get back out there,” Lin said. “I’ll probably go get stitched up now.”
Lin was one of five Rockets to score in double figures, scoring 16 points in just under 31 minutes in his first regular season game as a reserve in a Rockets uniform.