James Harden paid immediate dividends for the Houston Rockets.
The new-look Atlanta Hawks hope their offseason moves will give them the financial flexibility to move in a more successful direction.
Harden will look to build on an impressive team debut Friday night when the host Hawks kick off their 2012-13 season.
Just four days after being acquired from Oklahoma City in a surprising deal that sent Kevin Martin, rookie Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-rounder to the defending Western Conference champions, Harden poured in 37 points and added a career-best 12 assists in Wednesday's 105-96 victory at Detroit.
"That was an awesome performance," said point guard Jeremy Lin, who began his second stint with the Rockets with 12 points, eight assists and four steals. "We just let him go to work and played off of him and it was really nice."
So was the five-year, $80 million contract extension Harden signed earlier in the day.
"I think I just wanted to get out there and ...