Howard leads Rockets over Bobcats 96-83 in opener

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) - Dwight Howard had 17 points and a career-high-tying 26 rebounds in his Houston debut, James Harden added 21 points and the Rockets cruised to a 96-83 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.

Howard spurned the Lakers to sign an $88 million deal with Houston, joining Harden and a team that made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2009.

The Rockets led by four points in the fourth quarter before using a 14-4 run to extend the lead to 86-72 with about 3½ minutes left.

Harden tossed an alley-oop to Howard for a dunk during that span. The crowd roared as Howard pointed and smiled at his new teammate.

Another dunk by Howard, this one a two-handed slam, capped the spurt.

The Bobcats were led by Josh McRoberts, who had 15 points.

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