Russell Westbrook and James Harden each scored 22 points to lead Houston over the Raptors in NBA exhibition action.
Neither of the Rockets’ starting guards shot particularly well – combined, they were 13-of-33 from the field and 4 for 19 from three-point range – and Harden missed his past six 3-point attempts. But the Rockets started fast, getting out to a 22-8 lead, and then overcame a 13-point second-half deficit after both sides pulled most of their starters.
And the fans – more than 20,000 in Tokyo – loved what they saw from the former MVPs, regaling them both with “M-V-P” chants.
“It feels great anytime you hear those chants. Both of us have accomplished that unbelievable goal, being MVP,” Harden said. “I think the reason that we’re here together is to accomplish something bigger than that. Obviously, it’s going to take time but we’re in the right direction, right steps. We have a long season ahead of us and I think we’re all excited for it.”
Eric Gordon scored 14 points for Houston.
Norman Powell scored 22 for Toronto, which got 16 points from Pascal Siakam and a 10-point, 10-assist double-double from Fred VanVleet.