Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - James Harden is certainly cementing himself as the Houston Rockets' go-to guy.
After going for 37 points in his Rockets debut on Wednesday, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year poured in a career-high 45 points to lead Houston past the Atlanta Hawks, 109-102, on Friday.
Harden finished 14-for-19 from the field and also converted on 15-of-17 free throws, and had seven rebounds. He scored 18 in the final quarter when he went 12-of-13 from the charity stripe.
Jeremy Lin added 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Marcus Morris chipped in 17 points off the bench for Houston, which is 2-0 for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
Lou Williams, who was signed by Atlanta in the offseason, led the Hawks with 22 points off the bench. Josh Smith posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Al Horford and Jeff Teague each donated 14 points in the Hawks' regular season opener.