HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite the fact that NBA stars Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Russell Westbrook did not suit up for Thursday’s NBA pre-season game at the Stan Sheriff Center, James Harden put on a one man show for the Hawai’i fans.
Thursday’s matchup was just the second pre-season game for the Houston Rockets, but Harden already looked in mid-season form.
The league’s most prolific scorer lit up the Clippers for 37 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists en-route to powering Houston to a 109-96 victory over the Clippers.
The sold out crowd at the Stan Sheriff Center roared every-time Harden touched the ball or entered the game.
Harden could feel the energy, throughout the evening and appreciated the support from Hawai’i hoop fans.
“The fans came out and showed out," said Harden following the game. “We gave them an opportunity to see NBA basketball and what we’re about and obviously a couple superstars didn’t play and what not, but fans still got to see in person how fun and exciting the game can be.”
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni hasn’t ruled out a return trip to the islands and thought the atmosphere in the arena was electric.
“For an exhibition game I thought it was super,” said D’Antoni. “The fans were appreciative of good plays and to play an exhibition game in Hawai’i, it doesn’t get much better.”
The Clippers were lead by Montrezl Harrell who poured in 17 points to go along with six rebounds.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will not play in the Los Angeles Clippers second pre-season game against the Shanghai Sharks on Oct. 6 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Rockets will next head to China to continue their pre-season slate of games.