|Date of game: 10/28/2014
Recap: LA Lakers vs. Houston
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - James Harden scored a game-high 32 points in just three quarters and the Houston Rockets spoiled Kobe Bryant's return with a resounding 108-90 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday to open the season.
Terrence Jones registered a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double and Dwight Howard tallied 13 points with 11 rebounds for Houston, which has won four in a row over the Lakers.
"We looked pretty solid on defense," said Harden. "We did a pretty good job of executing. For me, it's just getting into a rhythm."
Bryant, who played just six games last season because of Achilles and knee injuries, paced the Lakers with 19 points on 6-of-17 shooting.
"I felt fine and the pace felt good," said Bryant. "You can only control what you can control."
Carlos Boozer tallied 17 points with seven rebounds and former Rocket Jeremy Lin added seven points with six assists in their Lakers debuts.
The Lakers played their first regular-season game under new coach Byron Scott but lost rookie forward Julius Randle, who suffered a broken right leg midway through the fourth quarter in his NBA debut.
"It's heartbreaking," Scott said. "It's his first game and he goes down. We're thin already."
Randle, the No. 7 overall draft pick out of Kentucky, fell hard after a drive to the lane with under seven minutes left. He grasped his leg, and the entire LA team and medical staff eventually made it onto the court to show support for the rookie.
After several minutes, Randle's leg was placed in an air cast and he was helped onto a stretcher and wheeled off the court.
The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Randle was 1-for-3 from the floor for two points in 13 1/2 minutes.
"Not much we can do about it right now except just try to keep his spirits up," said Bryant.
It was all Houston from the start.
Howard opened his season with a hook shot, then Wesley Johnson knocked down a 3-pointer to give LA an early lead. Jones' jumper 21 seconds later moved the Rockets back in front, and they never trailed again.
Jason Terry, making his Houston debut, buried a pair of 3-pointers to cap the scoring in the first for a 31-19 lead.
Although the Lakers shot over 52 percent from the floor in the second, they still managed to lose the quarter and trailed 62-45 at the break.
A pair of Jordan Hill free throws with under seven minutes left in the third cut the hosts' deficit to seven, but that's as close as they would get.
Houston led by as many as 27 in the fourth quarter and cruised to the win.Game Notes
Bryant and Howard were whistled for technical fouls and both had to be
restrained after Howard hit Bryant in the face with an elbow ... Trevor Ariza,
signed by the Rockets after Chandler Parsons left for Dallas, scored 16 points
in the win ... Ed Davis scored 11 points off the bench for LA ... The Rockets
were 12-for-29 on 3-pointers while the Lakers went 3-for-10.