GUANGZHOU, China – With a home crowd chanting his name, Yao Ming looked sharp as he tested his surgically repaired foot Saturday in helping the Houston Rockets beat the New Jersey Nets 95-85 in a preseason game.
Yao scored 10 points in this showcase for the 7-foot-5 center who has spurred the growth of basketball in China. Easing his way back after sitting out last season, Yao made several deft hook shots during his 18 minutes on the court. When he wasn't playing, he rode an exercise bike on the sideline.
Yao shot 5 of 8 from the field, had five rebounds and was selected the game's most valuable player. He left to chants from the fans with nine minutes to go in a game marking the debut of the Guangzhou International Sports Arena.
Kevin Martin scored 16 points for the Rockets, while Aaron Brooks had 12 and Brad Miller 11. Miller played his first preseason game since spraining his ankle in September. For New Jersey, Brook Lopez finished with 20 points and Anthony Morrow had 19.
The Rockets play San Antonio and Dallas in two more exhibitions in the U.S. next week and open the season Oct. 26 against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nets wrap up their preseason against New York and Boston next week before opening Oct. 27 against Detroit.