NBA: Houston Rockets lose guard Patrick Beverley for opening six weeks

Los Angeles (AFP) - Patrick Beverley, the Houston Rockets' backcourt starter alongside top scorer James Harden, will miss at least 20 games to start the National Basketball Association season with a left knee injury.

Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said Beverley will miss the first six weeks of the upcoming campaign, which begins for Houston on Wednesday at the Los Angeles Lakers.

Eric Gordon, Tyler Ennis, P.J. Hairston and K.J. McDaniels figure to share time at point guard in place of 28-year-old Beverley, who averaged 9.9 points, 3.4 assists and 3.5 rebounds a game last season.

Beverley's lone pre-season game for the Rockets came October 2 against the Shanghai Sharks when he had five points, six rebounds and five assists in a 131-94 victory.

The Rockets finished eighth in the Western Conference last season at 41-41 and lost to the eventual conference champion Golden State Warriors in the first round of the play-offs. Houston lost centre Dwight Howard in the off-season, the veteran signing with his hometown Atlanta Hawks.