Sports

Rockets beat Pacers 116-96 in 1st NBA preseason game in Philippines

  • Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin walks off the court following his team's practice Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. The Indiana Pacers will play against the Houston Rockets on Thursday in the first NBA game in this basketball-obsessed Southeast Asian nation, part of the NBA's global schedule that will have eight teams play in six countries this month. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin walks off the court following his team's practice Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. The Indiana Pacers will play against the Houston Rockets on Thursday in the first NBA game in this basketball-obsessed Southeast Asian nation, part of the NBA's global schedule that will have eight teams play in six countries this month. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin talks to the media following his team's practice Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. The Indiana Pacers will play against the Houston Rockets on Thursday in the first NBA game in this basketball-obsessed Southeast Asian nation, part of the NBA's global schedule that will have eight teams play in six countries this month. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin talks to the media following his team's practice Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. The Indiana Pacers will play against the Houston Rockets on Thursday in the first NBA game in this basketball-obsessed Southeast Asian nation, part of the NBA's global schedule that will have eight teams play in six countries this month. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Houston Rockets' Dwight Howard removes the ice on his knees while talking to the media following his team's practice Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at the Mall of Asia Arena in  Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. The Indiana Pacers will play against the Houston Rockets on Thursday in the first NBA game in this basketball-obsessed Southeast Asian nation, part of the NBA's global schedule that will have eight teams play in six countries this month. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Houston Rockets' Dwight Howard removes the ice on his knees while talking to the media following his team's practice Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. The Indiana Pacers will play against the Houston Rockets on Thursday in the first NBA game in this basketball-obsessed Southeast Asian nation, part of the NBA's global schedule that will have eight teams play in six countries this month. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

James Harden scored 21 points Thursday to lead the Houston Rockets to a 116-96 win over the Indiana Pacers in the first NBA preseason game in the Philippines.

Omri Casspi added 17 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Houston, while Paul George led the Pacers with 17 points. Dwight Howard was held to nine points in his second game for the Rockets after struggling with foul trouble.

NBA Commissioner David Stern says the basketball-obsessed Philippines are an ideal host for NBA preseason games. He says the league may go to other Southeast Asian countries.

He calls Filipinos "rabid fans in a wonderful way."

The teams will play again on Sunday in Taiwan, the ancestral home of Rockets guard Jeremy Lin.