Harden puts on a show for Rockets
Guard scores 37, dishes out 12 assists
James Harden had 37 points and 12 assists in a stirring debut for Houston, and Carlos Delfino made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lift the Rockets to a 105-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons last night.
Detroit led 83-72 early in the fourth, but Harden and Delfino brought the Rockets back. Houston acquired Harden on Saturday night in a trade with Oklahoma City and agreed yesterday on a five-year, $80 million contract extension with him.
The reigning Sixth Man of the Year certainly looked worth it in the season opener. Harden fell just short of his career high of 40 points, and his 12 assists were a career best.
Brandon Knight led Detroit with 15 points.
PACERS 90, RAPTORS 88
George Hill scored the go-ahead basket with two seconds left, completing the Pacers’ rally for a season-opening win over the Raptors.
David West scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and Paul George had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Pacers, who trailed 84-74 with just under six minutes left. Roy Hibbert added 14 points for Indiana.
Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 21 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 10 rebounds in his NBA debut. Andrea Bargnani had 16 points, and Jose Calderon added 15 for the Raptors.
Tim Duncan scored 24 points, Tony Parker hit a huge 3-pointer, and the Spurs opened the season with a victory over the Hornets in the debut for top draft pick Anthony Davis.
Davis scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds, a promising start for the player who spent only one year at Kentucky, leading the Wildcats to the national title.
But the wily Spurs showed the rebuilding Hornets a thing or two.
After Davis made two free throws with 1:08 remaining to give New Orleans its final lead, 95-94, the Spurs closed strong. Parker connected from beyond the arc with 49.6 seconds left, finishing with 23 points. After Greivis Vasquez missed an open 3, Duncan padded the lead with two fouls shots.
BULLS 93, KINGS 87
Joakim Noah scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Bulls got off to a good start without Derrick Rose, beating the Kings in the season opener.
Richard Hamilton added 19 points, while Carlos Boozer chipped in with 18 points and eight rebounds.
The Bulls are out to show they can get by while their superstar recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, and this was promising even if it was a struggle.
Chicago led by 14 after a 10-0 run in the third quarter and hung on in the fourth after the Kings closed within three several times.
76ERS 84, NUGGETS 75
Spencer Hawes had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the 76ers to a win over the Nuggets.
Hawes had a crowd of nearly 20,000 fans chanting “Spen-cer Hawes!” in the fourth quarter after he turned back the Nuggets with a string of big baskets and blocked shots. Coming off the bench, Hawes had five blocked shots. Jrue Holiday had 14 and 11 assists, and Dorell Wright scored 14 points.
The Sixers won the opener with center Andrew Bynum out with a bone bruise on his right knee.
Ty Lawson led Denver with 16 points in his first game since signing an $18 million, four-year extension. Andre Iguodala scored 11 points in his first game since the Sixers traded him to Denver in the four-team deal that netted them Bynum.