Detroit is off to a strong start as its 14 wins are second only to Eastern Conference-leading Indiana. The Pistons have won seven of 11 on the road, and are a win shy of matching their first five-game run from Oct. 31-Nov. 9.
Detroit point guard Chauncey Billups believes the Pistons are capable of playing even better.
“We’re winning games, but we’re not playing well,” said Billups after Wednesday’s 87-73 win over Miami. “We put it together when we need to—at the end of games and in second halves.
“It gets frustrating when we get into situations where we can put a team away, and we feel like we’re the better team and we should have our way and it doesn’t happen.”
Houston held New Orleans to a season-low 28 field goals Friday en route to beating the Hornets 83-74.
“Houston has such an inside presence with Yao (and Kelvin),” Hornets forward P.J. Brown said. “They set the tempo. (They) make it very tough inside … you go to the rim and you see nothing but red.”
STANDINGS (through Dec. 5): Pistons - 2nd place, 1 1/2 GB, Central Division. Rockets - 3rd place (tied), 1 1/2 GB, Midwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Pistons - Billups, 20.4 ppg and 5.6 apg; Wallace, 13 rpg. Rockets - Francis, 18.5 ppg and 4.6 apg; Yao, 9.6 rpg.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Pistons. 2-0.
LAST MEETING: March 4, 2003; Pistons, 96-83. At Detroit, Jon Barry scored 13 points in the second quarter to help the Pistons beat the Rockets.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pistons - 7-4 on the road; Rockets - 6-1 at home.
INJURIES: Pistons - G Hubert Davis (hamstring); G Chucky Atkins (knee); C Zeljko Rebraca (back). Rockets - G Mike Wilks (shoulder); F Ben Davis (knee); G Adrian Griffin (knee); F-C John Amaechi (flu); G-F Jim Jackson (flu).