Rockets 142, Suns 116 - High Score

At halftime of their beatdown of the Phoenix Suns, the Houston Rockets had cause for celebration. Whether their 90-point first half qualified them to leave a three letter initial at the top of the high score list or not, they certainly looked like the sort of champions who would proudly enter ASS into the annals of history. They absolutely embarrassed the Suns in every way, got a dominant performance from James Harden, and got a taste of what this team can do with Chris Paul on the roster.

Everybody gets a game ball today. James Harden gets one for torching the Suns for 48 points on a mere 22 shots. Chris Paul gets credit for an early-season double double to go as well as fitting into this new team and coach. Clint Capela gets one because he's a home town hero and awesome as always. Heck, Zhou Chi even got in on the action during an expended garbage time much to the delight of his cadre of superfans.

The question of whether Chris Paul would help the Rockets' already potent offense seems to have evaporated. Almost everyone knew better, but tonight was exhibit A in why it was a silly concept. Paul is an all-time passer and one of the best point guards of all time. Ha can find open men on the perimeter. He can run a two man game with Clint Capela. He can defend at a high level. The future for this team looks, in the moment, very bright.

The only thing that mattered, however, was the number 90. That was the number of points Houston's elite offense scored in the first half alone, claiming a tie for second-highest first half of a game of all time. This was Chris Paul's coming out party, and the team played up to that expectation. Paul empowered the second unit to score and defend well, and between he and Eric Gordon, the Suns had little chance to contain their assault. There's no way the Rockets can score 90 in every half of basketball, but they can and will overwhelm a lot of teams' second units.

This game was a delightful palate cleanser for the Rockets after the sour-tasting loss to the Toronto Raptors. Now, the story is the return of their future hall of famer, the scoring power of James Harden, and the overall historic outing from this powerful offense. It's a good day for the Rockets, because the Rockets get to claim a high score. Now we just have to wonder what name they put in.

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