James Harden one-upped his opening game performance with 45 points and 7 rebounds to lead his Houston Rockets over the Atlanta Hawks 109-102.
The bearded one dominated the game with his penetration, passing and basketball IQ and the Hawks had no answer.
Daryl Morey sure looks like the Executive of the Year at the moment. Not only did Harden all to his potential in leading his team, but Jeremy Lin added a 21 point-10 assist night as well.
Meanwhile, Omer Asik didn’t score a point, but he owned the boards with 19 rebounds, including nine alone on the offensive glass.
The Hawks went down double-digits late in the fourth quarter and had to climb back from that deficit for the rest of the game.
Led by new addition Lou Williams’ 13 fourth-quarter points, the Hawks battled back to tie the game, but the deficit proved to be tiring enough.
The Rockets were able to dominate inside despite no points from Asik, scoring 50 points in the paint. The Hawks weren’t physically imposing enough inside to intimidate Lin and Harden from getting to the rim.
Player of the Game: James Harden.
Houston’s newly signed star had one efficient encore performance in a Rocket uniform.
Harden played one of the best games of his career, shooting 14 of 19 from the field and 12 of 14 from the charity stripe. He attacked the Hawks frontline all night, scoring most of his points on dunks and layups.
Next Up for Houston: The Rockets head back to Houston for their home opener Saturday night against the Blazers.
Next Up for Atlanta: The Hawks fly out to Oklahoma City for a Sunday night clash with the Thunder.