For the Hawks Devin Harris started the game hot, scoring nine points in the span of a couple minutes in the first quarter. Harris started the game for Atlanta alongside Jeff Teague, Al Horford, Josh Smith and Kyle Korver. Horford seemed to come alive in the second quarter and Deshawn Stevenson hit a big three pointer at the half, but the Hawks still found themselves down nine points (53-44) at the half.
James Harden had 17 points and three rebounds in the first half for the Rockets. Second year forward Marcus Morris also had 10 points and Jeremy Lin had nine in the first half for Houston. The Hawks were led by Josh Smith and Al Horford, who both had eight points.
Atlanta played some pretty good defense in the second half, they filled the passing lanes to get steals but they still trailed by seven points going into the final quarter. Lou Williams would prove to be the man in the fourth quarter (he scored 13 in the period) as the Hawks had appeared to have worn Houston down and looked to be poised for a comeback win. Josh Smith gave Atlanta the lead (88-87) off of a fast break with 7:10 to play. After being tied at 92, the Rockets found their second wind and James Harden would go on to show why he was just given a monster deal with monster play. Marcus Morris continued to be a terror for Houston and Zaza Pachulia continued his tough, hard nosed play in the paint for Atlanta.
In the end, James Harden scored 45 points and grabbed seven boards to lead Houston. Jeremy Lin also played big with 21 of his own points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. For the Hawks, Lou Williams led with 22 points, Josh Smith chalked up 18 points and 10 boards and both Jeff Teague and Al Horford dropped in 14 each.
The Hawks showed fight, depth and when it all comes together this group should be a lot of fun to watch. Next, the Hawks travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder on Sunday.
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