Chris Paul earnings as Rockets measure franchise-record 90 points in half

3:10 AM ET

PHOENIX — The “bumps” manager Mike D’Antoni pronounced he approaching while incorporating Chris Paul into his offense weren’t clear in a Houston Rockets’ record-setting 142-116 subjection of a Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

Paul, a nine-time All-Star indicate ensure who pushed for a trade from a LA Clippers to a Rockets during a offseason, was fantastic in his lapse after blank roughly a month given of a painful left knee. He purebred a double-double in 21 minutes, scoring 11 points on 3-of-7 sharpened and dishing out 10 assists with usually one turnover.

Harden, a long-lived All-Star ensure with whom Paul opted to form a partnership, padded his NBA scoring lead with 48 points on 12-of-22 sharpened from a margin and available 7 assists.

“James knows that each night he’s not going to have 48 and things like that, though we usually try to play a right way, make a right plays and pierce a ball,” pronounced Paul, who had not played given a Rockets’ season-opening win over a Golden State Warriors. “It’s fun. It’s fun personification like that given of a appetite with a team. We know it’s not going to be easy like this night in and night out, though we talk, we promulgate and that’s what helps.”

Houston had a highest-scoring initial entertain in authorization story with 45 points, 41 of that were generated by Paul and Harden, who sum for 18 points and 8 assists in a period. The Rockets scored 45 again in a second entertain — 23 by Harden, all while Paul watched from a dais — to set a authorization record for points in a half with 90.

“I suspicion there was something wrong with a score,” Harden pronounced of a Rockets’ halftime indicate total, that had been achieved usually twice before in a shot-clock epoch (since 1954-55), according to ESPN Stats Information.

Harden, who leads a joining with averages of 31.8 points and 10.1 assists, available a 40th 40-point diversion of his career and narrowly missed his second 50-plus-point opening of a season. He done 6-of-11 3-point attempts and all 18 of his giveaway throws. At one indicate late in a initial half, Harden had 33 points on usually 11 margin idea attempts.

“I’ve never seen somebody measure so effortlessly,” Paul said.

Paul, who played a notation over a limitation of 20 for his return, described himself as “gassed” during times during a win. His prolongation tailed off after halftime, though Paul seemed in Hall of Fame form in a initial half, when he had 8 points on 2-of-4 sharpened and 8 assists.

“He looks unequivocally good on a court,” Harden said. “Obviously, he looks comfortable. The some-more he gets his breeze behind and he gets some-more minutes, he’ll get even better.”

Asked if Paul looked rusty, D’Antoni grinned: “Nope. we wish there was a lot [of rust]. we don’t know if he can get any improved than that, though if he does, it’ll be scary. You forget how good he is. He was harm a final muster diversion and afterwards a initial diversion of a season, and we kind of forget how good a man is. It’s good to get him back.”

The Rockets scored 33 points in a 13 mins that Paul and Harden played together. Paul had 8 points on 3-of-5 sharpened and 4 assists when he common a building with Harden, who had 13 points on 3-of-7 sharpened and one support in those minutes.

However, Houston was some-more fit when a Rockets had usually one of their All-Star playmakers on a court. According to ESPN Stats Info, Houston’s descent potency (points per 100 possessions) was 118.0 with Harden and Paul personification together opposite a Suns, 121.8 when Paul played while Harden complacent and 147.4 when Harden played but Paul.

By comparison, a Warriors lead a joining in descent potency with 114.5 points per 100 possessions.

“It usually felt fluid,” pronounced energy brazen Ryan Anderson, who scored a season-high 24 points and strike 6-of-10 3-point attempts, 5 of that were assisted by Paul with a other entrance on a feed from Harden. “It didn’t feel like we were additional prohibited tonight. We were usually creation a right plays, scoring good and usually removing easy buckets. Obviously, Chris helps with that. He’s an easy man to play with.”

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