Fresh off their free agent splash of landing Dwight Howard, The Houston Rockets Summer League team got off to a good start in their Orlando Pro Summer League opener, coasting to a 88-80 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Terrence Jones lead the way for the Rockets, finishing with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Patrick Beverley scored 10 points and dished out 6 assists. James Anderson added 9 points, and Greg Smith finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds in 26 minutes.
Newcomers and fresh faces contributed to the Rockets as well: Jack Cooley scored 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds off the bench, Casper Ware added 8 points off the bench as well, and drilled two long 3s. Tyler Honeycutt, who was traded to Rockets along with Thomas Robinson and Francisco Garcia last February, also made a contribution with 9 points and 3 rebounds.
The Sixers were led by Michael Carter-Williams, who put on an impressive performance in his first pro game. Carter-Williams finished with 26 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds, while Rodney Williams added 12 points. Khalif Wyatt added 9 points and 3 assists off the bench.
The Rockets looked like their regular club in the first half: perimeter players attacking the rim, setting up for 3s, and being aggressive on defense. The Rockets stormed to a double-digit lead in the first quarter, and held a 25-15 advantage at the end of the first. It was more of the same in the second quarter, as the Rockets got great defensive pressure from the point-guard trio of Beverley, Ware, and Toure’ Murry. Houston led 48-33 at halftime.
While Carter-Williams and the rest of the Sixers came to life in the second half, the Rockets still received 5 points in the Summer League standings. The 7-point system consists of 3 points being awarded for winning the game, 1 point awarded for each quarter won, and .5 points if a quarter is tied.
The Rockets will next play on Tuesday at 3:00 PM EST(2:00 PM CST) against the Utah Jazz.