MANILA, Philippines James Harden scored 21 points Thursday to lead the Houston Rockets to a 116-96 win over the Indiana Pacers in the first NBA preseason game in the Philippines.
Commissioner David Stern said the basketball-obsessed country is an ideal host for preseason games, and the league may go to other Southeast Asian countries. He said Filipinos were "rabid fans in a wonderful way."
Attendance was 12,885 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"The NBA is always trying to find ways to take advantage of opportunities, particularly in Southeast Asia, and the Philippines lead the way," Stern said. "But we're beginning to see activity around Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore."
Omri Casspi came off the bench to score 17 points and grab 10 rebounds for Houston, and Dwight Howard was held to nine points and had four turnovers in his second game after struggling with foul trouble.
Heat 112, Pistons 107 in Auburn Hills, Mich. Dwyane Wade, who missed Miami's preseason opener Monday, saying he was "erring on the side of caution," played 21 minutes and had eight points and four assists in a victory over Detroit.
Also, Detroit guard Rodney Stuckey broke a bone in his right thumb after catching it in a car door Wednesday. The Pistons said Stuckey's return would be determined after surgery today.
Timberwolves 98, Bucks 89 in Sioux Falls, S.D. Othyus Jeffers had 13 points and six rebounds to lead Minnesota over Milwaukee in front of a sellout crowd of 3,250 at the Sanford Pentagon, the home of the NBA D-League's Skyforce.
Busy Magic is out at ESPN Magic Johnson won't return to ESPN as an NBA studio analyst.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer said in a statement released by the network that because of his busy schedule, "I don't feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role."
Johnson is part of the ownership group that agreed to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers in March 2012. Since retiring from basketball, he has been successful in business, investing in movie theaters, a production company and restaurants. He also has been an activist in the fight against HIV after being diagnosed with the virus in 1991.
He expanded his role on ESPN to join "NBA Countdown" in 2011.
"I will always feel a strong connection to the ESPN family, and I enjoyed working with them very much," Johnson said.
ESPN announced earlier this week that "NBA Countdown" would drop Michael Wilbon and add former NBA coach Doug Collins to the mix with Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons.
Bobcats Backup center Brendan Haywood will miss at least 12 weeks because of a stress fracture in his left foot. The team said in a release that Haywood would have surgery next week.
Haywood had an MRI and CT scan Wednesday. The team said the stress fracture is in the navicular bone. Surgeons are expected to place two screws in the bone.
Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin suffered a bone bruise in his left knee during an intra-squad scrimmage Wednesday night and had a precautionary MRI that showed no structural damage. There was no timetable for his return.
Mavericks Forward Brandan Wright has a small, non-displaced fracture to his left shoulder. Dallas said surgery for the injury, which happened Tuesday in practice, is not anticipated.
The Los Angeles Daily News and Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.