In his first game as the "foundational player" of the Houston Rockets, James Harden and his beard made the Detroit Pistons (and Thunder GM Sam Presti) all uneasy by dropping a scary good 37 points, 12 assists and six rebounds on them in 44 minutes, helping the Rockets to a nine-point win to ruin the Pistons' home opener of the 2012-2013 season.
The Pistons led after three quarters, thanks to a 23-7 run in the third's final nine minutes, but fell apart during the last 12 minutes of the game, getting outscored 33-15 and ultimately losing the game 105-96.
Harden only scored six of his 37 in the fourth, but he spent much of the final quarter creating open looks for his teammates, like Carlos Delfino, a former Piston. Five of Harden's 12 assists came in the fourth, two of which were to Delfino for wide open back-to-back daggers around the five-minute mark.
Delfino hit five threes in all in the game and was the Rockets' second leading scorer with 15 points.
Brandon Knight was the Pistons' leading scorer with 15 points, but he needed 15 shots and ignored point guardy things to get there.
Here's the Box Score. The Pistons head out West for six starting on Friday against the Suns. We'll probably have more on the opener and the road ahead later tonight or tomorrow.
[Note by Packey, 10/31/12 11:01 PM EDT ]