The Rockets jumped out to an early lead, which they steadily maintained at 11 points until halftime. The Nets came back, however, going on a 10-2 run as the third quarter wound down, making the score 69-67 to start the fourth. In the end, the Rockets never relinquished the lead, and went on to pull away in the final 12 minutes.
The crowd naturally favored the Rockets as they cheered for their hometown hero, Yao Ming, who is still rehabilitating the surgically repaired foot that forced him to sit out all of last season.
The Nets, however, were concerned with other business, mainly getting Devin Harris to be more aggressive with the ball. Harris finished with 19 points and seven assists, the first time he finished in double figures in points against an NBA opponent this preseason.
Brook Lopez finished the game with 22 points and seven rebounds, and Terrence Williams grabbed eight rebounds and dropped in 20 points on efficient 9-for-20 shooting.
The Nets have to be pleased with the performance of Williams as he continues to pick up where he left off last season, providing great energy and a solid stat line.
On the other hand, this game was another testament to the amount of learning Derrick Favors will have to do before he can become a solid contributor for this team. Favors finished with five rebounds and no points on 0-for-5 shooting and was 0-for-2 from the free-throw line. On the positive side, however, Favors did limit himself to only two personal fouls in 23 minutes of action.
The Nets' other rookie, Damion James, did not see any action.
Kevin Martin and Aaron Brooks fueled the Rockets offensively, putting up 18 and 17 points, respectively. Yao Ming finished with nine points and four rebounds in 19 minutes.
These two teams will face off in China once more on Saturday at 7:30 AM Eastern Time.
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