Rockets 106, Spurs 104
MICHAEL A. LUTZ
Jan. 27, 1999
HOUSTON (AP) _ Scottie Pippen made his debut for the Houston Rockets a winning one Tuesday night, scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a 106-104 exhibition victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
Pippen, who played his first 11 seasons in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls, got the Rockets going with a slam dunk in the first quarter and Charles Barkley led Houston with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
The Rockets gave away all 16,285 seats to the game and although all seats weren't filled, fans clearly were glad to have pro basketball back and Barkley and Pippen putting on a show.
Barkley missed the Rockets first four workouts while playing in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic but he didn't show any rust, scoring 10 points in the first quarter.
Sean Elliott led the Spurs with 18 points, Jaren Jackson had 17 and Tim Duncan added 16.
The Spurs led much of the second half but the Rockets edged ahead for the final time with 5:56 left at 95-92. Barkley had three free throws in the final 1:12 that kept the Rockets in the lead.
The Rockets built a 43-26 lead early in the second quarter and they still have a 50-36 lead with 6:05 to go when the Spurs went on a 21-7 run to tie the game at 57-57 at the half.