Rockets Harden and Paul Impress at Drew League

James Harden and Chris Paul have trained together since last month when Paul was acquired by the Houston Rockets from the Los Angeles Clippers.

On Sunday, they debuted in public for the first time as teammates at the Drew League in Los Angeles.

Harden ended with 27 points and 12 boards which were highs for the game, while also handing out 6 assists and making 2 steals. His team LAUFED won 83-81 against the home town team that included current players in the NBA Delon Wright, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jordan Bell.

During the first half, Paul and Harden, who will have to learn how to share the same backcourt, appeared to trade off playmaking and ball handling duties with one of the two in control of the possession while the other spotted up to shoot. However, as the flow of the game continued one could easily see more synergy between their two games.

Houston players attending the league game said the Rockets plan to continue a training regime together through the summer and fall in Los Angeles and then during the latter part of August in the Bahamas.

The Rockets last summer did something similar as they began to learn the offense of Mike D’Antoni their head coach and facilitating the change of Harden to being the lead guard.

Despite being with the Clippers for the past six seasons, Paul never participated in the Drew League prior to Sunday’s game.

He watched Harden last week and on Sunday shook off a slow start finishing with 13 points and 10 assists. Prior to last week’s game, Paul was informed that he would have to play if he wanted to be eligible for the playoffs of the league that start this Friday.

The Sunday game was a big event full of stars from the league. Dwayne Wade the veteran guard for the Chicago Bulls was courtside to watch the game, as was DeMar DeRozan the All-Star guard for the Toronto Raptors, who earlier on Sunday played with Julius Randle from the Lakers and Nick Young from the Warriors.

The game was important for Harden’s team as they needed to win to reach the postseason on Friday.

Some Houston fans held their collective breathes at one time when Harden hurt his thumb, but it did not appear to be anything serious for the high scorer.

The league continues into August with the upcoming two weekends the playoffs.

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