NBA: Dwight Howard Shines in Debut as Rockets Beat Bobcats 96-83

Dwight Howard scored 17 points and grabbed 26 rebounds in his Houston Rockets debut on Wednesday to lead his team to a 96-83 win over the visiting Charlotte Bobcats.

Oct 30 2013, 10:39pm CDT | by

NBA: Dwight Howard Shines in Debut as Rockets Beat Bobcats 96-83
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Dwight Howard era officially kicked off in Houston on Wednesday as the Rockets beat the Charlotte Bobcats 96-83. 

Howard was a major force in the middle, scoring 17 points and grabbing 26 rebounds in a dominating performance. Guard James Harden added 21 points in a supporting role to help Houston pull away late. 

Leading by just four at 72-68, the Rockets uncorked a 14-4 run to lead by 14. Harden and Howard collaborated on an alley-oop dunk during that spurt which got the Toyota Center crowd on its feet. 

Howard, who left the Los Angeles Lakers during the offseason to sign an $88 million contract with the Rockets, had a two-handed jam at the end of that run. 

Houston saw several of its players limping on and off the court due to several injuries. Harden, Patrick Beverley and Jeremy Lin all went to the Rockets locker room at one point during the first half. 

Beverley never came back as he was saddled with a rib injury. Lin and Harden eventually returned -- the latter shaking off a lower back issue and a 2-for-8, four-turnover start to finish second in scoring behind Howard.

Francisco Garcia made five three-point baskets on his way to 19 points for the Rockets. Lin scored 16 for Houston.

The Bobcats were led by forward Josh McRoberts who had 15 points.Center Al Jefferson, who signed a three-year, $41 million deal in the offseason, made his debut for Charlotte and had 13 points and eight rebounds.

Rookie Cody Zeller, the fourth overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft out of Indiana University, had two points and four rebounds for the Bobcats.  

The Rockets will next take on their in-state rivals, the Dallas Mavericks, on Nov. 1 while the Bobcats head home to face the Cleveland Cavaliers on that same day. 

 

 

 
 
 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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