Rockets blow Yao's Sharks out of the water
JAMES Harden scored 16 points and handed out 10 assists as the Houston Rockets launched their National Basketball Association pre-season with a 131-94 rout of Yao Ming's Shanghai Sharks.
While Yao, who starred with the Rockets for eight NBA seasons, received a warm welcome in Houston, his China Basketball Association club were in for a rougher ride in the first game between teams from the two leagues to be held in the United States.
Yao, 36, quipped that he had suggested to Rockets general manager Daryl Morey that coach Mike D'Antoni "use four players against us".
"Obviously, the NBA represents the best basketball in the world," Yao said.
"We are very fortunate to be here. It is a test for us to see the measurement."
Despite the lopsided score, Rockets chief executive
Tad Brown said it was a fitting match-up for the NBA club.
"We're very proud of the fact that the Shanghai Sharks are here playing an NBA team for the first time in the United States," he added.
"We can think of nothing more suitable than for the Houston Rockets to be
hosting that game with
a team owned by Yao Ming."