Final: Raptors 134, Rockets 129
Led by 24 points and 11 rebounds from 2019 Most Improved Player Pascal Siakam, five different Raptors finished in double figures: Serge Ibaka (18), Fred VanVleet (16), Norman Powell (14) and Chris Boucher (12) also came up big on the offensive end.
While the starters got things going, it was Boucher, Terence Davis, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Malcolm Miller that made some big plays down the stretch to help Toronto secure the victory.
Reigning back-to-back scoring champion James Harden led the way for Houston with 34 points (on 11-14 shooting) in just 27 minutes of action. In his first appearance as a Rocket, Russell Westbrook scored 13 points and dished out six assists in 20 minutes of play.
After scoring 85 points in the first half, Houston was held to just 44 points in the second, while Toronto scored 61 points in the final 24 minutes.
The two teams will be back at it again in less than 48 hours as they conclude the 2019 NBA Japan Games with a second exhibition.
Down to the wire
Here's the situation:
Toronto leads 131-129 with under 20 seconds remaining.
Newcomer Cameron Payne steps to the line with an opportunity to make it a two-possession game once again.
One-possession game late
Just over one minute remains in regulation and the Raptors lead 130-127.
Canadian Oshae Brissett steps to the line with an opportunity to extend the lead
Raptors take lead into final stretch
After an 85-point first half, the Rockets have been held to just 33 points through the first 20 minutes of the second half.
Toronto has used this defensive effort to take a 121-118 lead into the final 4:04 of regulation.
The Raptors will look to hold on to this lead to emerge victorious in their preseason opener.
RHJ evens things up
After trailing by as many as 17 points, the Raptors have tied things up at 114 with under seven minutes remaining in regulation thanks to a turnaround finish from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
This one could have an exciting finish.
Terence Davis rocks the rim
End of Third Quarter: Rockets 106, Raptors 99
After the lowest-scoring quarter of the game thus far, Houston takes a seven-point lead into the final frame.
James Harden has maintained his post as the game's leading scorer with 34 points on 11-for-14 (78.6%) shooting in 27 minutes of action. The Beard also has a game-high seven assists.
Pascal Siakam leads the way for Toronto with 24 points (on 7-16 shooting) to go along with a game-high 11 boards. Siakam is one of five Raptors in double figures as Serge Ibaka is up to 18, Fred VanVleet scored 12 of his 16 points in the third and Norman Powell has chipped in with 14 points of his own.
Harden reaches 30
In the 2018-19 regular season, 30 was the magic number for James Harden, who scored 30 or more points in 32 consecutive games.
In today's preseason game, the 30-year-old reached the 30-point plateau at the midway point of the third quarter while in less than 24 minutes of action.
It's his second straight game of at least 30 points this preseason as he scored 37 in the Rockets win over the Clippers in Hawaii. Harden's done a bit of everything in this one and has been super efficient, shooting nearly 80.0% from the field.
The stats tell part of the story:
Halftime: Rockets 85, Raptors 73
Behind 27 points from Harden, Houston takes a 12-point lead to the locker room as it shot a red-hot 28-for-46 (60.9%) from the field and 13-for-25 (52.0%) from beyond the arc.
Clint Capela has been big for the Rockets with 12 points and six rebounds while Russell Westbrook has impressed in his first appearance in a Rockets uniform with 11 points and five assists in under 12 minutes of action.
The Raptors aren't as hot as the Rockets but are still hot, shooting 25-for-46 (54.3%) from the field including 8-for-19 (42.1%) from deep. For Toronto, it's been Pascal Siakam, who has a team-high 18 points to go along with a game-high eight rebounds in under 15 minutes.
Ibaka, who came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, is up to 15 points (on 7-8 shooting) in the game. Norman Powell has also come up big with 14 points (on 5-9 shooting).
Final break before the half
Houston is still hot, shooting 62.5% from the field and 57.1% from deep. James Harden continues to lead the way with 22 points although he has uncharacteristically missed five free throws already.
Pascal Siakam is up to 15 points and seven rebounds in 12 minutes and is doing a great job of getting to the line as he is currently 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.
Midway through the second
We're nearing the midway point of the second quarter and there's a timeout on the floor.
Neither team has slowed down much as the Rockets now lead 63-57 with 6:20 remaining in the half.
Russell Westbrook is starting to find his groove - he's up to 11 points in the game to go along with a game-high five assists.
For Toronto, Norman Powell has reached double figures with 11 points of his own while newcomer Matt Thomas is showing off his shooting stroke with a quick eight points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc.
Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 8, 2019
End of First Quarter: Rockets 44, Raptors 40
There's been no shortage of offence in this one so far as both teams crack the 40-point threshold in the first quarter.
It should come as no surprise that back-to-back scoring champ James Harden has led the way; he's up to a game-high 21 points (on 7-8 shooting) for the Rockets, who are shooting 16-for-23 (69.6%) from the field as a team.
Led by three dimes from Siakam, Toronto has assisted on 11 of its first 15 made baskets.
High-octane first quarter
We've reached another break in the action as neither team has cooled off.
Toronto leads Houston 35-33 with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
First break in the action
We're past the midway point in the first quarter and we've reached our first break in the action.
Both teams are hot right now, as the Rockets and Raptors are both shooting over 60.0% from the field.
Serge Ibaka gets things going
Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 8, 2019
Konnichiwa 🇯🇵 pic.twitter.com/0HkuXHjcOt- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 6, 2019
Konnichiwa, squad is in Tokyo for the 2019 NBA Japan Games! 🇯🇵 pic.twitter.com/7GmIIfA9Dq- Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) October 6, 2019