- Sports & Recreation
- Detroit Pistons
- Dwight Howard
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By MoiseKapenda Bower, The Sports Xchange March 1, 2014 10:36 PM
HOUSTON -- Guard James Harden posted a double-double and all five Houston starters scored in double figures in the Rockets' wire-to-wire, 118-110 win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night at the Toyota Center. Harden finished with 20 points and 12 assists as Houston (40-19) improved to 12-0 at home this season against Eastern Conference teams. Forward Terrence Jones emerged from a monthlong slump with 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Rockets extended their home winning streak to five games despite the Pistons' fourth-quarter comeback. Detroit trailed by as many as 25 points before guard Rodney Stuckey converted a layup with 5:41 left that cut the deficit to 107-97. But Rockets guard Patrick Beverley responded with consecutive 3-pointers to push the lead back to 16 points with just under four minutes to play. Beverley finished with 19 points and five rebounds and Rockets center Dwight Howard added 17 points, eight boards and four assists. Pistons center Andre Drummond posted 16 points and 17 rebounds and forward Josh Smith added 21 points but on 8-of-24 shooting from the field. Stuckey cut the deficit to seven points with 1:34 left and had 23 points off the bench, but Detroit (23-36) could not complete the comeback. The Rockets blitzed the Pistons from the opening tip, opening an 18-4 lead with a flurry of transition baskets and rim attacks. The Pistons stood idly by as Houston dunked its way to a commanding lead, surrendering 30 points in the paint in the first quarter, including 12 in transition, as Houston raced to a 41-20 lead by the close of the quarter. Houston opened its largest lead at 58-33 on two Howard free throws with 4:58 remaining in the first half. By the intermission, Harden, Howard and Jones combined for 41 points on 17-of-24 shooting from the field. NOTES: Rockets F Chandler Parsons (illness) was sent home before tipoff and missed his sixth game this season. Parsons entered play ranked 19th in the NBA in total minutes (1,989) and fifth in minutes per game (37.5). ... Recently acquired F Jordan Hamilton started in place of Parsons, earning his first start with the Rockets. Hamilton joined Houston at the trade deadline from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for G Aaron Brooks. Hamilton made 11 starts with the Nuggets this season. ... Rockets C Dwight Howard dominated the Detroit Pistons in the first meeting, posting a season-high 35 points with 19 rebounds, five assists and three blocks in a 114-97 win on Dec. 21. Detroit approached the rematch with pause relative to defensive strategy. "You don't want to give him a lot of the same looks and let (Houston) keep that spacing," Pistons coach John Loyer said. "But then again you can't guard a guy like Dwight Howard one-on-one the whole night in the post."