Harden brilliant, Rockets beat Pistons 105-96

Harden brilliant, Rockets beat Pistons 105-96
October 31, 2012, 10:23 pm
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Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives to the basket against Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe (10) duringg the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson

(APWF)

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) 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 on Wednesday 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 Wednesday 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.