for this game

Rockets entertain listless Sixers

Nov 14, 2014 - 2:41 PM ( - The Houston Rockets will try to continue their fine form to start this season and odds are good as the Philadelphia 76ers visit the Toyota Center Friday night.

The Rockets dropped their first game of the season Saturday at home against the Golden State Warriors, but atoned for the setback with a 113-101 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night in Mexico City.

"We love playing here," said Houston's James Harden. "The fans in Mexico are great."

Harden overcame a difficult night shooting and an injury scare in the third quarter, finishing with 23 points and 10 assists on 8-of-23 from the floor, and Trevor Ariza added 19. Harden briefly left the game after landing awkwardly on his ankle but returned and played just under 40 minutes.

Dwight Howard returned to the court and posted 22 points with 10 rebounds and four blocks, leading the Rockets. He missed the Golden State loss with flu- like symptoms.

Houston also became the first team in NBA history to make 10 or more 3- pointers in each of its first eight games. Kostas Papanikolaou and Jason Terry helped in that area, sinking four and three triples, respectively, off the bench without a miss.

The Rockets were once again without starting guard Patrick Beverley (hamstring) and forward Terrence Jones (leg). Both are listed as out for Friday's game.

The Sixers are in the midst of a four-game road trip and game two went even more terribly than possible for the NBA's only winless team.

Philly dropped a "nail-biter" to the Dallas Mavericks Thursday night, 123-70.

"It's the NBA, and you get another game tomorrow," said the always pragmatic Sixers head coach Brett Brown.

The 76ers welcomed back reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, but his return to the hardwood took a backseat to the beating Philadelphia was handed. Carter-Williams missed the entire preseason and the team's first seven regular season games after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder in May. He came off the bench and scored a team-high 19 points on 6-of-19 shooting.

Tony Wroten was the only other Sixers player in double figures with 11.

Nerlens Noel returned from a two-game absence with an ankle injury and managed five points and seven rebounds Thursday.

This one was almost over before it started. Dallas jumped out to a 38-10 first-quarter lead, then took a 73-29 advantage into intermission. It is believed to be the largest halftime deficit in team history.

The Sixers finished with 27 turnovers and 23 made field goals.

Philly heads to San Antonio on Monday to complete the trip.

The Rockets beat the Sixers by 11 in Philadelphia on Nov. 3. The Sixers have lost their last three appearances in Houston.