Rockets beat Pacers in first ever NBA game in Manila

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MANILA -- James Harden led the way as the Houston Rockets dominated the Indiana Pacers in a 116-96 win in a preseason game here as part of the 2013 NBA Global Games at the Mall of Asia Arena.


The Houston Rockets began with a massive 12-0 run, with half coming from Patrick Beverly and James Harden canning triples, barely three minutes in. The Pacers finally got on board though, scoring the next six, but the Rockets continued to get shots at the rim, 27-14.

"Our defense was phenomenal. In the first quarter we jumped out to a 15-point lead," said Harden. "[We] create stops, force turnovers, get easy points. Obviously having Dwight, Dwight helped out as well."

The Pacers' second unit kept things competitive, as a Luis Scola layup off a Danny Granger assist got their side within two points, 39-37, 7:46 left in the first half. Aaron Brooks and Donatas Motiejunas provided enough separation, though the latter injured his wrist after taking a hard fall, following a dunk, 46-39.

Lance Stephenson charities and a David West jumper made it just a four-point affair, but the reinsertion of some of the Houston starters allowed them to maintain their separation, 61-55 at the break.

After the break, Houston seemed determined to take charge of the game anew, scoring five quick points for a 66-55 advantage.

James Harden then took charge, making it a double-digit lead with a trey, 84-73, 48.5 seconds to go, but Paul George ate slightly into their deficit, for an 84-75 tally at the end of the third.

Back-to-back early hits by Orlando Johnson looked to give the Pacers some momentum, 84-79. However, a 13-4 run led by Jeremy Lin had the Rockets looking like the superior team, 97-83, 6:14 left. Between the shot and the free throw on an Omri Casspi and-one, Lin sat down to applause from the crowd, with the score at 107-90 and the game essentially decided.

"Tough loss," said Indiana coach Frank Vogel. "I just think they're a speedy team, and we have to work on our ball movement and our transition defense."

Paul George led his side with 17 points. David West added 14, while Orlando Johnson played well late with 11 points in 12 minutes.

The Rockets out-scored the Pacers 62-42 in points in the paint and doubled up on them in transition points, 26-13.

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