Inquirer Daily News

Howard, Rockets dominate on the glass and upend Charlotte

Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Dwight Howard showed why he was the most coveted free agent of this past offseason, matching a career high with 26 rebounds in his Houston debut to help the Rockets to a 96-83 season-opening victory over the Charlotte Bobcats at the Toyota Center.

Howard, who inked a four-year, $88 million contract with the Rockets in July after a prolonged courtship by several suitors, added 17 points in his first game with his new team. James Harden totaled 21 points in the win, with Francisco Garcia tallying 19 and fellow reserve Jeremy Lin scoring 16 for Houston.

Behind Howard's efforts and a 14-rebound performance from counterpart big man Omer Asik, the Rockets dominated Charlotte on the glass to the tune of a 54-37 advantage.

Josh McRoberts paced the Bobcats with 15 points and Ramon Sessions had 14 in the loss. Al Jefferson, Charlotte's major free-agent pickup over the summer, finished with 13 points and eight rebounds while playing through a sprained ankle.

10/30 22:43:10 ET