Pistons withstand Rockets for seventh straight win
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) – Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton scored 24
points apiece as Detroit edged Houston, 99-97, at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Ben Wallace posted 13 points and 15 rebounds, his thirteenth double-double
this season. Rasheed Wallace and Maurice Evans each added 11 points for the
Pistons, who extended their winning streak to seven games.
Tracy McGrady poured in a game-high 43 points along with nine rebounds and
five assists for Houston, which fell for the seventh time in eight games.
Juwan Howard posted 16 points and 12 rebounds in the loss, while Rafer Alston
posted 13 points and David Wesley added 10.
McGrady netted a running hook shot with 1:10 remaining to come within two
points of the lead, 96-94. Detroit responded 13 seconds later as Rasheed
Wallace found Ben Wallace on an alley-oop dunk to go up by four.
Luther Head sank a triple with 10 seconds to go, however, to put Houston down
one point at 98-97. Hamilton hit one of two free throws for a 99-97 Detroit
lead, and one final chance for Houston to prevail.
With two ticks left on the clock, Head again hoisted a shot from beyond the
arc, but missed. Howard missed the tip-in and Detroit came away victorious.
The Pistons gained an early advantage and led by as much as 13 points, 49-36,
after Evans backward-slammed a pass from Hamilton with 2:33 left in the second
quarter. Ben Wallace tipped in a missed jumper by Rasheed Wallace with two
seconds left in the first half to put Detroit up 55-46.
Houston hung around throughout the third quarter and took the lead at 86-85
with 8:02 to go in the fourth on a triple by Alston. Evans later took the lead
back for Detroit for good at 90-88 on a three-pointer with 6:29 left in
The Pistons are 17-2 at home this season. They have won three in a row and 13
of their last 14 at The Palace…Houston is 10-13 on the road this
season…The home team has won seven of the last 10 meetings in this series,
while the Pistons have won five straight over the Rockets. Houston has lost
five in a row and nine of its last 10 at Detroit…Howard’s double-double was
his sixth this season.