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10/10/2013 12:36 PM EDT
Rockets beat Pacers 116-96 in 1st game in Manila
HOUSTON 116, INDIANA 96

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- James Harden scored 21 points
Thursday to lead the Houston Rockets to a 116-96 win over the
Indiana Pacers in the first NBA preseason game in the
Philippines.

Omri Casspi added 17 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for
Houston, while Paul George led the Pacers with 17 points. Dwight
Howard was held to nine points in his second game for the
Rockets after struggling with foul trouble, and had four
turnovers.

Houston coach Kevin McHale started Patrick Beverly at point
guard and Terrence Jones at power forward instead of Jeremy Lin
and Donatas Motiejunas, who started in the first preseason game.

"I told them I will change starting lineups every game to see
what happens. They're aware of it," McHale said. "On this game,
I saw D-Mo (Motiejunas) having a great synergy with Omri Casspi
and the bench was just energized."

For Indiana coach Frank Vogel, the Rockets just showed up more
ready to play.

"It's simple: the Rockets played better than us," he said.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said basketball-obsessed country is
an ideal host for NBA preseason games, and the league may go to
other Southeast Asian countries.

He said Filipinos were "rabid fans in a wonderful way."

"The NBA is always trying to find ways to take advantage of
opportunities particularly in Southeast Asia, and the
Philippines lead the way," Stern said. "But we're beginning to
see activity around like Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia
and Singapore."

The teams play each other again on Sunday in Taiwan, the
ancestral home of Rockets guard Lin.

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