Rockets overwhelm Shanghai Sharks in preseason game

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Houston Rockets fired at will as they sent China's Shanghai Sharks crashing with a overwhelming 144-82 victory in a preseason NBA game on Thursday.

Trevor Ariza led Houston with 18 points, James Harden had nine points, 10 assists and Chris Paul had 11 points and 12 assists. Besides, Eric Gordon had 17 points and Clint Capela had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Houston stormed to a 43-16 lead after the first quarter, making its first seven shots and 13 of 29 3-point attempts in the first half. The Rockets shot 42.3 percent from beyond the arc overall.

Josh Akognon led Shanghai with 27 points, and Nick Minnerath had 22.

"Our guys can play," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We're good. It comes easy. They're just learning to play with each other. I thought, pretty good stuff."

Rockets 21-year-old Chinese rookie Zhou Qi played 11 minutes and scored eight points including a thunderous dunk. The center played last season for China's Xinjiang Flying Tigers after the Rockets drafted him with the 43rd overall pick in 2016.

"This is a big week coming up for us," D'Antoni said. "We'll learn a lot about where we are by the end of next week. Hopefully, we're in a good spot because right around the corner is Golden State."

Houston opens the regular season at Golden State to face the defending champions Warriors. Enditem

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