Houston got its first glimpse of Dwight Howard in a Rockets uniform, as the big fella posted 19 points and pulled down 9 boards in a 116-115 preseason defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans. Per CSN Houston: “I think he looked good,’ James Harden said. ‘He looked real athletic. Explosive.’ Howard finished with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting, nine rebounds, three assists and a block in just over 27 minutes in the Rockets’ 116-115 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. It was the team’s first preseason game of the 2013 season. Howard also made 7-of-11 free throws. His night was over late in the third quarter. ‘He looked good,’ head coach Kevin McHale said. ‘Active, had some blocked shots, rebounded, came over. I thought he did some nice stuff. Our starters, when they were in there, our plus/minus was very good.’ The Rockets built a lead behind Howard and the rest of the starters, but the reserves squandered it and the team lost its opener. The Rockets will now head to Asia for a game in the Philippines and a game in Taiwan. The last Rocket announced, Howard’s crisp white No. 12 jersey popped sitting on top of his black compression shirt as he ran onto the court after Harden. The cheers for Harden and Howard were the loudest of the introductions. Howard was excited to play and said he didn’t feel nervous before the game. ‘I’m just happy to get it going,’ Howard said. ‘It came pretty quick after free agency, training camp and all that. But I think we’re going to have a great season. I’m looking forward to finishing these preseason games off and getting ready for the season.’”