Palo Alto High grad Jeremy Lin helped the Houston Rockets put 2012 to bed by scoring 16 points in a 123-104 victory over the visiting Atlanta Hawks in NBA action Monday night.
Lin made 6-of-11 shots from the field and added eight assists, four rebounds and four steals as the Rockets headed into the new year with a 17-14 record.
Veteran wing Carlos Delfino came off the bench after a two-game absence and made several clutch plays during the final quarter en route to posting season highs of 22 points and eight assists for Houston.
James Harden led the surging Rockets, who closed 2012 by winning six of their last eight games, with 28 points.
Atlanta's jump shots fell during the early stages of Monday's contest, as it nailed 11 of its 21 field-goal attempts in the opening quarter to grab a 27-26 lead. But Houston continued to keep the Hawks' offense out of the paint while stretching their defense in transition with scorching 3-point shooting and strong drives, leading to a 32-10 run that gave the Rockets a 58-37 advantage.
Delfino's aim was deadly when Houston needed it most. After the Hawks trimmed an 18-point halftime deficit to 81-73, 90-81, and then 102-97, respectively, Delfino provided the heroics by draining three key 3-pointers as Houston snapped a two-game losing streak.
The Rockets finished the game 45-for-84 (53.6 percent) from the floor, becoming only the third Hawks' opponent this season to hit at least half of their shots.
In addition to handing out five more assists (13-8) and scoring 14 more points (49-35) than the Hawks' bench, Houston's backups connected on 10 of their 15 (66.7 percent) attempts from long distance. During the second quarter, the Rockets ripped off a 16-0 run with their best player, Harden, sitting on the bench.