Howard to Harden to Parsons for the jam
The Rockets have surely enjoyed their trip to Asia but they finally got to play some basketball.
The Rockets beat the Pacers 116-96 on Thursday night in Manila (the game tipped off at 6:30 a.m. CT).
Jeremy Lin, who is a major star in Asia, actually started the game on the bench as Patrick Beverley made the start. Terrence Jones started at the power forward instead of Donatas Motiejunas.
Beverley played well, shooting 4-for-5 with 12 points. He also had four assists and two steals.
Lin led the second team well. Head coach Kevin McHale said Lin will start the next game. Lin and Beverly will alternate starts.
"I thought (Lin) did some nice stuff," McHale said. "I thought Patrick did a good job with the first unit. I thought Jeremy did a really nice job with the second unit. They're both really good players, so we're still not in a mode yet where ... we're still figuring things out. The object is to get as many guys on your team playing well at one time as you can. I'm happy that they're both playing well."
Jones scored five points as a starter and Motiejunas scored 16 points off the bench.
The Rockets had a very good first quarter, outscoring the Pacers 31-24.
"We wanted to get off to a good start and we wanted to get off to a good start defensively and see if we couldn't turn our defense into some points," McHale said. "And we had set some defensive goals and I thought the first unit really came out and did a nice job establishing us defensively and getting out. And that usually, for us, leads to some good ball movement."
James Harden led the team with 21 points in 27 minutes. Dwight Howard played 24 minutes, scoring nine points and gathered three rebounds.
McHale said he would like to see Howard play together with Omer Asik but said with Asik's injury, it's unlikely to happen in Taiwan, where the Rockets play their next preseason game before returning to the country.