Houston spoil Anthony's debut
Carmelo Anthony sizzled in his first game with the Thunder, though Chris Paul and the Rockets look like they will be just fine without him.
Houston overcame Anthony's 19 points in just 20 minutes and Paul George's 15, spoiling their Oklahoma City debuts with a 104-97 victory on Tuesday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Paul had 11 points and seven assists in his Houston debut . The Rockets tried to acquire Anthony after getting Paul, but couldn't work out a deal during their summer-long discussions with the New York Knicks, who instead dealt their leading scorer to Oklahoma City on the eve of training camp.
"Being happy out there on the court again, being excited, being motivated to be out there on the court again, it's back for me," Anthony said. "That feeling is back for me."
But the Rockets, who had one of the NBA's most potent offences last season, might not need the extra scoring. James Harden had 16 points and 10 assists, Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon scored 21 points, and the Rockets made 24 three-pointers . Gordon had six and Trevor Ariza hit five on his way to 18 points.
MVP Russell Westbrook didn't play for Oklahoma City.
The Knicks played their first game without Anthony, losing to the Brooklyn Nets.
Brooklyn (1-0) host Miami tonight. New York (0-1) visit Washington tomorrow.
New Orleans (0-1) visit Oklahoma City tomorrow.
Phoenix (1-0) visit Utah tomorrow. Portland (0-1) host Toronto tonight.
Toronto (1-1) visit Portland tonight. Los Angeles (1-1) host Portland on Sunday.