WATTS >> The line snaked around King-Drew Magnet school as early as 8 a.m. on Sunday. Nearly 10 hours later, over 1,500 people filled the gym. About 500 people were left standing outside eager to catch a glimpse.All the anticipation centered around Houston Rockets and former Clippers guard Chris Paul. He made his Drew League debut around 6 p.m. on Sunday after watching a game there last week. He played along with Rockets guard James Harden in what marked their first game as teammates since appearing together in the 2012 London Olympics and four All-Star games (2013-2016). Harden (27 points, 12 rebounds) and Paul (13 points, 10 assists) then led LA Unified to a 83-81 win over the Hometown Favors. Paul and Harden declined to speak to reporters afterward. But Drew League commissioner Dino Smiley echoed the thoughts of many that saw what transpired.“There was a lot of energy,” Smiley said. “It was draining, intense and unbelievable to have NBA stars on the field. It was fantastic, a great evening.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “It doesn’t surprise me. Chris is loved by basketball fans everywhere,” said Rockets CEO Tad Brown, who had been in Los Angeles this weekend for Trevor Ariza’s wedding. “He’s one of the greatest players in the world of his generation. We’re just glad he’s on our team.” Brown saw a first-hand glimpse that explained that feeling.“You saw how James and Chris play off each other as far as who is able to break defenses down and get some easy shots,” Brown said. “It was a lot of fun.”There was also a lot of rust. Harden airballed a pair of shots. After Paul missed three consecutive jumpers, public address announcer George Preciado described Paul as “stone cold CP.” While Harden shot 8-of-22 from the field, Paul went 5-of-17 overall. Harden (three turnovers) and Paul (two turnovers) also had issues with handling the ball. But the two also led a second-half charge with stronger shooting accuracy. Then again, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni is not going to make much over a pro-am summer-league game. “Mike is definitely not going to want to watch a tape of this,” Brown said, laughing. “Mike will like the idea that they’re putting up shots quickly from outside the arc. But no, we’re not going to break down the film.” Still, there were some plays to break down that showed an intriguing two-man game. Both Paul and Harden split ball-handling duties. Harden often fed Paul into the post, while Paul set up Harden along the perimeter. “Mike’s going to figure that out. But I do know is that one of the main focuses was to make sure we got James more help and make sure he didn’t have to carry that load all the time with the ball handling and the passing and distributing,” Brown said. “You add another guy with unbelievable skill sets with taking the load off of James. And vice versa. Chris has always been looking for help.”While Brown called Harden and Paul “two of the best players in the world” and “some of the smartest players on the planet,” Brown sounded intrigued on how each player’s game could complement each other. “Now you have two distributors who are great shooters and penetrators,” Brown said. “Mike is going to have a lot of fun. He’s the mad scientist when it comes to creating those offensive schemes. But that was part of it. How do you get another superstar level player who’s going to be able to share a lot of the workload with what James decided to carry with the team?”All answers pointed to Paul. So, Houston acquired Paul in a sign-and-trade from the Clippers for seven players and a 2018 first-round draft pick.“Chris is tailor made. He’s perfect for our system and is perfect for what we’re trying to do,” Brown said. “Seeing these guys, how much they enjoy being together and how much the team is enjoying getting to know Chris and welcoming the new guys into the system, it’s going to be a lot of fun.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersDrew League chief financial officer Mike McCaa ranked the moment the most memorable regular-season game in the league’s 44-year history before noting the cameo appearances Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant made during the 2011 NBA lockout. The buzz could have grown louder, though, if not for a notable absence. Drew League officials anticipated Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook would play, which would set up a matchup with Harden after beating him for the regular season’s MVP award. But officials were informed Russell did not want to play after experiencing some minor ailments in recent days. It’s not clear if Westbrook will play when the Drew League All-Stars (featuring Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan and Golden State forward Nick Young) host Jamal Crawford’s Seattle pro-am team at Southwest College on at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. There was plenty of buzz nonetheless. Fans filled the gym for seven games, which included DeRozan, Young, Lakers forward Julius Randle, Toronto guard Delon Wright and former NBA forward Dorell Wright playing on Sunday afternoon. Paul and Harden followed suit against a team that had Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr., New Orleans guard Jordan Crawford and Warriors forward Jordan Bell. The rapper, Game, and Chicago guard Dwyane Wade sat courtside. “Man I wanted to grab a jersey,” Wade tweeted.Fans seemed most vocal when they saw Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma watching the game, something that gave Smiley further evidence this is “still a Lakers town.” While longtime Clippers fan “Clipper Darrell” often pleaded during timeouts for Paul to return, he did not draw any boos.