Christian Wood posted a double-double, Eric Gordon scored 22 points off the bench and the host Houston Rockets rolled to a 124-91 wire-to-wire victory in Friday night's home opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Wood tallied 31 points on 13-for-19 shooting while grabbing 14 rebounds and blocking three shots. He was instrumental in what was a dominant performance on the interior by the Rockets, who outscored the Thunder 58-34 on points in the paint. Wood also drilled 4 of 6 3-pointers as Houston thrived on 3-pointers as well, finishing 17 for 38.
Gordon hit 4 of 6 behind the arc while Kevin Porter Jr. chipped in 18 points, four treys and nine assists. Gordon, Porter and Jae'Sean Tate (16 points, 14 rebounds) all hit 3-pointers during a 28-12 surge down the stretch of the first half that enabled the Rockets to secure a 27-point lead with less than a minute left.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 13 points and was the only starter to reach double figures for the Thunder. Oklahoma City shot just 37.4 percent.
In a matchup between teams expected to finish near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, the Rockets took advantage by getting off to fast starts in the first three periods.
Houston grabbed a 7-0 lead out of the gate and extended that advantage to 19-8 before the Thunder called a timeout. The Rockets hit four 3-pointers in the opening frame, scored 18 points in the paint and limited the Thunder to 8-for-26 shooting while taking a 34-21 lead into the second.
Houston scored the first seven points again in the second and pushed its lead to 41-21.
The Thunder clawed back to within 14 on treys from Theo Maledon and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, but the Rockets pulled away for good with the aforementioned run that featured nine points from Wood, who had 24 points and nine boards at the break. Gordon and Porter combined for 23 points.
The Rockets pushed their lead to 30 points with a 10-2 spurt that opened the third period and led 100-66 when Danuel House Jr. sank two free throws with 1:49 remaining in the third.
--Field Level Media