The Toronto Raptors defeated the Houston Rockets 134-129 on Tuesday October 8th in a pre-season game held in Japan amid the controversy of a tweet backing Hong Kong protesters from a Houston executive that angered China.
Raptors most influential player last season, Pascal Siakam scored 24 points during the game, while his teammate Serge Ibaka found the net 18 times and guard Fred VanVleet scored 16 points.
The game witnessed the three-time All Star Marc Gasol on Toronto’s bench.
Russell Westbrook, the ex-NBA Most Valuable player, made his debut with Rockets scoring 13 points after he was signed from Oklahoma City Thunder this season.
The game-high point record went to Rockets star James Harden, who scored 34.
Raptors took the lead when Ibaka opened the score with a double, but the Rockets quickly turned the tables and snatched the lead when Harden sank a dynamic 3-pointer.
The game’s first half finished with 85-73 to the Rockets.
The Rockets received several fouls during the fourth quarter that helped the Raptors to take the lead again.
Raptors’ Siakam told the post games’ press conference that his team now have new goals for the start of the season.
"We challenge ourselves, each of us... every individual on the team," he said.
The game came after a tweet by Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey in which he backed anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
The Chinese sponsors then abandoned the team and the state-run TV network cut them from the airwaves.