Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 11/2/12
ATLANTA (AP) -- James Harden continued to shine at the start of his Houston career, scoring a career-high 45 points to lead the Rockets to a 109-102 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night. Harden, traded to the Rockets from Oklahoma City on Saturday, topped 30 points for the second time in his first week with his new team. Jeremy Lin had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and Marcus Morris had 17 points for Houston. Rockets center Omer Asik had a career-high 19 rebounds but did not score, missing seven shots from the field. Lou Williams led the Hawks with 22 points in his Atlanta debut. Josh Smith had 18 points and 10 rebounds. With the game tied 92-92, Harden had consecutive baskets, including a three-point play, to give Houston the lead for good. Chandler Parson's 3-pointer with 1:55 remaining pushed the lead to 100-94. Harden was 14 of 19 from the field and 15 of 17 from the free throw line. Harden, who signed a five-year, 80 million contract extension with Houston following the trade, had 37 points, 12 assists and six rebounds in a 105-96 win at Detroit in his debut on Wednesday night. Rockets coach Kevin McHale said before Friday night's game he was impressed with Harden's basketball smarts, enabling him to make a quick adjustment to his new team. Houston led after each of the first three periods. The Rockets took a 68-52 lead in the third before Atlanta cut the deficit to 81-74 at the end of the quarter. A basket by Smith with 7:12 remaining gave Atlanta an 88-87 lead, its first since the opening period. The Hawks have a new-look roster after trading Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams. After a preseason of sampling lineup combinations, Hawks coach Larry Drew had two newcomers -- Devin Harris and Kyle Korver -- join Al Horford, Smith and Jeff Teague. About 90 minutes before the game, Drew said he had "a little indecision" about Harris starting at shooting guard as the coach worried about the defensive matchup with Harden, who at 6-foot-5 is at least 3 inches taller than Harris. DeShawn Stevenson, who could match Harden's height -- and at least come close to matching Harden's beard -- became an important player off the bench for Atlanta. Stevenson had 12 points on four 3-pointers, including one at the buzzer to end the first half. Teague had 14 points and seven assists and Horford had 14 points. Notes: Houston F Patrick Patterson started after missing the opener with a strained left quad. C Greg Smith (strained left foot) did not play. ... Harden's previous career high was 40 points against the Suns on April 18. ... Hawks C Johan Petro was inactive. ... Stevenson fouled out in the final minute.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker