Harden, Lin power Rockets to win in opener

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 01 2012 12:09 PM | Updated as of Nov 01 2012 08:09 PM

DETROIT, Michigan - Asian American star Jeremy Lin was a winner in his NBA debut with the Houston Rockets, but it was fellow newcomer James Harden who lifted the squad in a 105-96 triumph on Wednesday at Detroit.

The Rockets obtained Harden Saturday in a deal with Oklahoma City and signed a five-year contract extension worth a reported $80 million with Houston only hours before he took the court with his new teammates.

Joining Lin in the Rockets backcourt, Harden scored 37 points on 14-of-25 shooting from the field and passed out 12 assists while grabbing six rebounds.

Lin, who sparked "Linsanity" last season with the New York Knicks in a last-chance longshot star turn off the bench, signed a free agent deal with the Rockets that New York failed to match to find his way to the former club of retired Chinese star center Yao Ming.

In his regular-season debut with the Rockets, Lin scored 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting while passing out eight assists and pulling down four rebounds.

Carlos Delfino came off the bench to add 15 points for the Rockets, who trailed 58-55 at half-time and 81-72 entering the fourth quarter before Houston outscoring the Pistons 33-15.

Brandon Knight led Detroit with 15 points while Greg Monroe added 14.

© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse