The Houston Rockets got their first taste of the type of impact Dwight Howard can have on the boards in their very first game of the 2013-2014 NBA regular season as Howard pulled down 26 rebounds against the Charlotte Bobcats. Although he scored a respectable 17 points in that game, Howard did not score more in any of the Rockets’ first four games. Tuesday night, on the road to the Portland Trailblazers, Howard gave Houston their first look at what he can do on the offensive end of the court.
D12 managed to eclipse his previous season-high in points scored in just the first half as both he and teammate James Harden posted 18 points. Howard would continue on to finish the game with 29 points, 13 rebounds, one block, two assists and six turnovers. Finishing the evening’s game with an efficient shooting night going 10-13 from the field and even a surprising 9-12 from the charity stripe, Howard reminded the Rockets why they signed him to a huge contract.
Howard’s offensive output is a bit more impressive given his opponents, the Blazers. With seven footer Robin Lopez and wily veteran LaMarcus Aldridge on the defensive end, Howard had no simple task of scoring, yet managed to score almost at will. Naturally, Howard owes credit to his teammates who fed him the ball in opportune situations, but his ability to score and throw down with the best centers in the NBA was evident.
Houston can expect to get offensive performances like Tuesday’s from Howard on a regular basis. This game was just the tip of the iceberg. With Howard and the Rockets headed home to host the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, you can expect another big outburst as he will likely be spurred by a motivation to best his former team.