Rookie Terry Teagle scored a season-high 30 points and also had six assists as the Houston Rockets defeated Indiana, 109-98, last night in Indianapolis for their first victory of the season.
Elvin Hayes, at 37 the oldest player in the league, scored 24 points for Houston, which had lost 10 straight, and led both teams in rebounds with 12.
"He doesn't look like he is slowing down at all to me," said Indiana Coach Jack McKinney.
"We have an 18-day home stand and we're hoping to get the team oiled up on both ends of the court," said Houston Coach Del Harris. "Eight of our first 10 games were away and we lost a lot of valuable working time there.
"We knew it'd be a difficult start with the new people, but we didn't know it would be this tough."
The Rockets took the lead for good early in the second quarter and pulled ahead with a 9-2 run. Major Jones had 11 of his 17 points in the second period as the Rockets held a 57-48 lead at the half.
The Pacers trailed, 77-63, in the third quarter before scoring 10 consecutive points. A dunk by rookie Jose Slaughter made it 77-73 with 1:40 left in the quarter, but Teagle scored four points and Indiana never seriously threatened again.
Billy Knight was high scorer for Indiana with 21 points and rookie Clark Kellogg had 16 points.