Houston Rockets 116 Indiana Pacers 96
The Rockets continue to go on offensive outbursts to start games and halves. Houston started the game with a 12-0 run, while starting the second half on a 5-0 run. Kevin McHale made two changes in the starting lineup prior to tip-off, with Terrence Jones starting at power forward, Patrick Beverley at point guard, and the starting unit didn’t miss a beat from Saturday’s pre-season opener.
James Harden lead the way with 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in 26 minutes. Chandler Parsons scored 15 points in 29 minutes, while Beverley continues to impress in the pre-season, finishing with 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in 23 minutes. With Jeremy Lin and Donatas Motiejunas coming off the bench, the 2nd unit played much better from Saturday. Lin finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists in 23 minutes, Motiejunas scored 16 points in 20 minutes, and Omri Casspi picked up where he left off on Saturday, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in 21 minutes.
The Rockets dominated in the paint and in transition, outrebounding the Pacers 45-39, while having a 62-42 advantage in points in the paint. The Rockets also scored 26 fast-break points, and forced 19 Pacers turnovers, which lead to 27 points.
There weren’t too many weak spots as the Rockets never trailed. While Dwight Howard made a big impact on the defensive end, he finished with just 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 fouls in 21 minutes, as he struggled playing against a true center in Roy Hibbert. Jones played solid offensively, scoring 5 points and grabbing 7 rebounds in 28 minutes, but was not up to par defending David West, who went for 14 points on 6 of 11 shooting.
While getting off to hot starts in both halves, the Rockets once again let the opposing team make a run of their own to close out both the 1st and 3rd quarters trailing by single digits. While it’s still only the pre-season, should this pattern continue, it could cause for problems down the road.
Both teams now will travel to Taipei, Taiwan, to play in their 2nd match-up Monday afternoon(early Monday morning in the states). Tip-off is scheduled for 12:30 AM CST.