Rockets lift off with high expectations
D12 shows promise with 17-point, 26-rebound effort against the Bobcats
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013 13:10
Dwight Howard has initiated a new era for the Houston Rockets.
To kick off the 2013 campaign, Howard finished the night with 17 points and 26 rebounds in his Houston debut against the Charlotte Bobcats. The Rockets finished the night 96-83 in their highly anticipated campaign.
According to an ESPN report, Howard said he wouldn’t have been able to produce an effort like he did in Houston.
“Physically, I doubt it,” he said. “Not the way I did tonight.”
Howard recorded his 63rd 20-plus rebound game of his career.
With the Rockets leading by four points, Harden hit Howard on an alley-oop to spark a 14-4 run that gave Houston a comfortable 86-72 lead with 3:30 left in the game.
“He was amazing,” Harden said. “Running the floor, rebounding the basketball…and finishing the basketball. You know, doing what he does. He’s a game changer.”
Coach Kevin McHale started a big line up against the Bobcats with Howard at power forward and Omer Asik at center. With Patrick Beverly starting over Jeremy Lin, McHale was looking to shake things up.
However, the surprise ended in the second quarter with injuries throughout the starting lineup.
Beverly injured his ribs and didn’t return from the locker room as Lin took a hit to the chin and received stitches. Harden battled a sore wrist and back, but said he’d be ready for Friday’s game.
Houston led by eight points to start the third quarter with Bobcat center Al Jefferson narrowing the Rockets lead scoring four points during a 7-2 run to narrow the lead 51-48. A 3-pointer from Josh McRoberts situated Charlotte within 57-56, but couldn’t contain Lin on the perimeter with a 3-pointer of his own.
Houston ended the night with a flagrant foul call on Howard, but after official review the play was changed to a personal foul, however, Howard hit the bench despite the call.