The 2019 NBA Japan Games came to a close Thursday as the Houston Rockets earned a 118-111 win over the Toronto Raptors behind the play of its superstar backcourt.
Box Score | Play-by-play
Both Russell Westbrook and James Harden scored 22 points apiece to lead the way for the Rockets, who are now 3-1 in preseason play. Harden did his work in 27 minutes of action, shooting 6-for-16 from the field and 1-for-8 from beyond the arc but sank nine of his 13 free throw attempts, dished out nine assists and grabbed three steals.
🏀 22pts- Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) October 10, 2019
🏀 Win In Japan@JHarden13 highlights ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/ZBS6WMRGWs
Westbrook, who saw 24 minutes of action, was 7-for-17 from the field and 3-for-11 from deep, dishing out four assists and snagging three steals as well.
It was a rough shooting night for both teams as Houston shot 38-for-98 (38.8%) from the field while Toronto went 36-for-92 (39.1%). 3-point shooting proved to be the difference in the game - the Rockets went 17-for-64 from 3-point range, a stark contrast from the Raptors, who shot 11-for-37 from deep.
For Toronto, it was Norman Powell who led the way with 22 points of his own on 7-for-11 shooting from the field, which included five triples. The fifth-year shooting guard set the tone with a 14-point first half.
Norman Powell leads the @Raptors at the half with 14 PTS on 4/5 3FG! #NBAJapanGames- NBA (@NBA) October 10, 2019
📲💻: https://t.co/MEd17GcZWi pic.twitter.com/TCV86wiCU2
Pascal Siakam scored 16 points (on 6-11 shooting), grabbed seven rebounds and dished out four assists in under 22 minutes of action.
Rounding out the Raptors' four double-digit scorers were Serge Ibaka, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, and Fred VanVleet, who recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists while starting in place of Kyle Lowry, who continues to rehab his surgically repaired left thumb.
After missing the preseason opener, Marc Gasol appeared in 18 minutes off the bench, scoring six points and grabbing six rebounds to go along with three steals.
59 of Toronto's 111 points came from the reserves, with Malcolm Miller scoring eight points while Patrick McCaw and undrafted rookie Terence Davis each scored seven points apiece. Chris Boucher finished with six points in nine minutes of action and 2019 second round pick Dewan Hernandez scored six points as he saw 12 minutes in his Raptors debut.
The Raptors will now travel back to Canada for a quick turnaround as they host the Chicago Bulls on Sunday for their lone preseason game at Scotiabank Arena. Houston heads back to the States for some time off before it hosts the San Antonio Spurs next Wednesday.
Toronto has just two more preseason tune-ups before opening the 2019-20 NBA season on Oct. 22 vs. Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.