James Harden gets max deal, scores 37 to lead Rockets past Pistons

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James Harden agreed to a big new contract extension -- and he certainly looked worth it in his first game with the Rockets.

Harden had 37 points and 12 assists in a stirring debut for his new team, and Carlos Delfino made four three-pointers in the fourth quarter to lift the Rockets to a 105-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons 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 yesterday on a five-year, $80-million contract extension with him. "I think I just wanted to get out there and play," he said. "All the talking and all the craziness that has been happening this last week -- I just wanted to go out there and play basketball."

Former Knick Jeremy Lin, Houston's other big acquisition, had 12 points and eight assists.

Trail Blazers 116, Lakers 106: Nicolas Batum scored 26 points and rookie point guard Damian Lillard had 23 points and 11 assists to help lift host Portland.

The Lakers are off to an 0-2 start despite getting 33 points from Dwight Howard and 30 from Kobe Bryant. Steve Nash injured his left knee. The Lakers initially reported it was not serious, but after returning to play, he headed back to the locker room. The exact nature of the injury was not known.

Clippers 101, Grizzlies 92: Jamal Crawford scored 29 points and Chris Paul had 12 points and 12 assists as host Los Angeles outscored Memphis by 13 points in the fourth quarter.

Spurs 99, Hornets 95: Tim Duncan scored 24 points to lead visiting San Antonio. No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis had 21 points in his Hornets debut.

76ers 84, Nuggets 75: Spencer Hawes had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks for host Philadelphia. Ty Lawson led Denver with 16 points. Andre Iguodala added 11 in his first game since Philly traded him to Denver.

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Pacers 90, Raptors 88: George Hill scored the go-ahead basket with two seconds left for visiting Indiana.

Bulls 93, Kings 87: Joakim Noah had 23 points and 10 rebounds for host Chicago.

Jazz 113, Mavericks 94: Mo Williams and Marvin Williams each scored 21 points to lead host Utah. -- AP

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