If this were a regular season game, the Houston Rockets would have set an NBA-record 28 three-pointers made against the Shanghai Sharks.
Unfortunately for them, it was just a preseason game, and they’ll have to settle with the 128-86 win over Yao Ming’s team.
The Rockets set the tone early in the first half of the game. Of the 49 field goal attempts taken, 39 of those were threes, and the Rockets made 17 of them for an outstanding 43.6% from behind the arc and the big 73-42 lead at the break.
Chris Paul, who played only the first half of the game, had an off night. Paul scored only nine points on three-of-eight shooting in 20 minutes, but he did have nine assists.
P.J. Tucker and Harden were absolutely lights out in the first 24 minutes of play. Harden (25 points) and Tucker (19 points), were an unconscious combined 10-of-15 behind the arc.
Tucker, who had 22 points total for the game, finished 6-11 from three. Since returning to the lineup against the Spurs this past Saturday, Tucker has been a scoring asset for the Rockets. With 19 and 22 total points scored in each respective game, he has also gone 9-18 from three- notably expanding his range beyond the corner, to the wing, and getting out quickly on the fast break
James Harden advances it to PJ Tucker! #NBAPreseason pic.twitter.com/MsrNWd6AeS— NBA (@NBA) October 10, 2018
Harden, as promised, has looked antsy to play. In a huge blowout in an exhibition game, the current MVP logged 31 minutes to go along with 37 points (13-18 FG, 9-14 from 3), 9 assists, and 5 rebounds.
James Ennis III has quickly made himself comfortable in the lineup. In his start, Ennis scored 15 points, went 6-of-9 from the field, and got himself 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
Rookie Gary Clark had his most impressive impressive night yet as a Rocket. In 27 minutes, Clark scored 16 points, going a lights out 5-of-7 from from the field, 4-6 from deep. As mention in our “New Faces From Old Places Series, Clark showed his defensive prowess. The forward out of Cincinnati pulled down five rebounds and had three blocks to go along with only two fouls.
The news was not all good for the Rockets, though. In just four minutes of play, Zhou Qi left the game after a nasty accident where Luis Scola rolled underneath him. Despite leaving in a wheel chair, coach Mike D’Antoni urges that it’s not as serious as once thought to be.
Coach D’Antoni calls Zhou Qi injury “just a sprain”. #Rockets pic.twitter.com/B5E7Ha9ksX— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) October 10, 2018
For the opposition, it was great to see fan-favorite, Luis Scola, back in Toyota . The 38-year-old former Rocket played an impressive 40 minutes to log a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds on 8-13 shooting.
As anticipated, former NBA player Jimmer Fredette didn’t see a shot he didn’t like. Fredette went 16-of-40 from the field, 4-of-11 from 3, for a game-high 41 points.
The Rockets will finish off their preseason campaign against the Grizzlies in Memphis this Friday.