NBA: Pascal Siakam powers reigning champions Toronto Raptors to pre-season victory against under-fire Houston Rockets

Pascal Siakam, the 2019 Most Improved Player, scored 24 points for the Raptors as Serge Ibaka added 18 and guard Fred VanVleet contributed 16

Agence France-Presse October 08, 2019 19:35:54 IST
NBA: Pascal Siakam powers reigning champions Toronto Raptors to pre-season victory against under-fire Houston Rockets
  • The NBA champions Toronto Raptors won a preseason game against the Houston Rockets 134-129 in Japan on Tuesday, a matchup clouded by a controversial tweet from a Houston executive that angered China

  • Pascal Siakam, the 2019 Most Improved Player, scored 24 points for the Raptors as Serge Ibaka added 18 and guard Fred VanVleet contributed 16

  • The match came after a tweet by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in which he backed anti-government protests in Hong Kong

Saitama: The NBA champions Toronto Raptors won a preseason game against the Houston Rockets 134-129 in Japan on Tuesday, a matchup clouded by a controversial tweet from a Houston executive that angered China.

NBA Pascal Siakam powers reigning champions Toronto Raptors to preseason victory against underfire Houston Rockets

Pascal Siakam celebrates during the pre-season match against the Houston Rockets. Twitter@Raptors

Pascal Siakam, the 2019 Most Improved Player, scored 24 points for the Raptors as Serge Ibaka added 18 and guard Fred VanVleet contributed 16. Three-time All-Star Marc Gasol stayed on the Tronto bench.

Former NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook, traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder, made his Rockets debut by scoring 13 points.

Rockets star James Harden netted a game-high 34 points and Centre Clint Capela added 12 for Houston.

The match came after a tweet by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in which he backed anti-government protests in Hong Kong. It led to Chinese sponsors abandoning the team and the state-run TV network cutting them from the airwaves.

Ahead of the game, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the organisation would continue to "support freedom of expression and certainly freedom of expression of the NBA community."

The Raptors last season became the first league champion from outside the United States by dethroning the defending titleholders Golden State in the finals.

But the Raptors now face a tough season after NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Kawhi Leonard left for the Los Angeles Clippers, after leading Toronto to an NBA crown.

The Houston Rockets won more than 50 games but missed the Western Conference finals after they were defeated by Stephen Curry-led Golden State last season.

The two teams will hold another preseason game on Thursday.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Former NBA champion Andrew Bogut announces retirement from professional basketball
Sports

Former NBA champion Andrew Bogut announces retirement from professional basketball

Andrew Bogut, a 2005 No. 1 draft pick by Milwaukee and who won an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, was earlier planning to retire after playing for Australia at the Tokyo Games.

NBA: Free agency opens with De'Aaron Fox and Sacramento Kings agreeing $163 million deal
Sports

NBA: Free agency opens with De'Aaron Fox and Sacramento Kings agreeing $163 million deal

Fox's numbers have improved in each of his three NBA seasons. He averaged 11.6 points as a rookie, then 17.3 points two seasons ago and finally 21.1 points last season for the Kings. His field goal percentage has also risen in each of the last two seasons.

NBA: 48 players test positive for COVID-19 before start of preseason games
Sports

NBA: 48 players test positive for COVID-19 before start of preseason games

The league said the positive tests are the result of 546 tests carried out between 24-30 November as the NBA gets set to begin preseason games in nine days.