THE Rockets overcame a slow start, taking charge in the second half for a 118-87 rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday in Houston (Monday, Manila time).
James Harden showed the way for the Rockets, who led by only five at halftime but took control with a 30-20 third quarter.
The Rockets were never threatened in the second half, with five players finishing with double-digit scores.
Harden came up with 37 points on 13 of 28 shooting, while Patrick Beverley went 8 for 13 and wound up with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Nene Hilario came off the bench to deliver 15 points, Clint Capela scored 14, while Lou Williams added 11.
Game Two is on Wednesday.
Russell Westbrook made 6 of 23 field goal attempts and wound up with 22 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City.
Andre Roberson was the only other Oklahoma City starter to score in double figures with 18, while Jerami Grant came off the bench to score 10.