HOUSTON (AP) — Alperen Sengun finished with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists to guide Houston over the visiting Indiana Pacers in the Rockets’ preseason opener.
Veteran guard Fred VanVleet, who signed a three-year, $130-million deal with Houston, scored 10 points in his debut for the Rockets. He made 3 of 11 shots, 2 of 6 from beyond the arc, with four assists in 25 minutes. No. 4 pick Amen Thompson struggled in his first game, scoring nine points on 1-for-9 shooting. Thompson made 5 of 6 foul shots and grabbed nine rebounds. Cam Whitmore, the 20th overall pick, totaled 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting with three 3-pointers. Jabari Smith Jr. scored 14 with seven rebounds.
Aaron Nesmith led Indiana (0-2) with 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting. Bennedict Mathurin had 14 points, while Jalen Smith sank all five of his shots, scoring 11. Indiana first-rounder Ben Sheppard also scored 11. He was 3 for 7 from distance with four boards and four assists.
Houston’s Dillon Brooks was ejected 4:33 into the game for a flagrant foul 2 to the groin of Daniel Theis.