Siakam, Powell shine during Raptors' loss to Rockets in Japan
Houston MVPs Westbrook, Harden regaled with cheers despite weak shooting effort
In Tokyo, Russell Westbrook and James Harden each scored 22 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a 118-111 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Neither of the Rockets' starting guards shot particularly well — combined, they were 13 of 33 from the field and 4 for 19 from 3-point range — and Harden missed his last 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.
Norman Powell scored 22 for Toronto, which got 16 points from Pascal Siakam and a 10-point, 10-assist double-double from Fred VanVleet.
Marc Gasol made his pre-season debut for the Raptors, posting six points and six rebounds in 18 minutes of action. Kyle Lowry, meanwhile, sat out his second conseuctive game.
Toronto returns home for its next pre-season game on Sunday against the Chicago Bulls.
WATCH | Raptors split series in Tokyo:
The fans — more than 20,000 in Tokyo — loved what they saw from the former MVPs Harden and Westbrook, 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.
With files from CBC Sports