MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Russ Smith scored 12 points, Jeff Green and Courtney Lee added 11 apiece and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Houston Rockets 92-89 on Tuesday night in the preseason opener for both teams.
Brandan Wright, signed by Memphis in the offseason, scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
ROCKETS: Rookie Sam Dekker, the 18th overall pick, played 25 minutes and shot 1 for 5, making a 3-pointer with about 5 seconds left to pull Houston within 90-89. . Rookie Montrezl Harrell (left thigh bruise) and Donatas Motiejunas (low back pain) sat out. .The Rockets have only had a losing record in the preseason twice since 2000.
GRIZZLIES: Newcomer Matt Barnes, despised by Memphis fans when he was with the Clippers, got a nice ovation when he entered in the first quarter. . Smith was 2 of 8 from the field and 8 of 9 from the free throw line.
TY'S START: Lawson, acquired by Houston in the offseason, started opposite Harden in the Rockets backcourt and is getting acclimated with his new team. "I think he's getting better," Houston coach Kevin McHale said. "I think these exhibition games always show where you're at."
PHANTOM OF THE BLUFF CITY: Memphis point guard Mike Conley, who ended last season wearing a mask after suffering a facial fracture in the first round of the playoffs, continued to wear the clear plastic mask to open the preseason.
PRESEASON MINUTES: Neither team's starters played much of the second half. Dwight Howard and Lawson played the most minutes for Rockets starters with about 24, while Green led the Grizzlies starters with 18 minutes.
UP NEXT: Houston hosts Dallas on Wednesday. Memphis hosts Maccabi Haifa on Thursday.