The Detroit Pistons (11-15) went on the road tonight, defeating the Houston Rockets (17-9) 115-107. The Pistons finish their road trip winning two of three games. The Pistons came into this game shorthanded, with Drummond (eye) unavailable for tonight’s game. The Rockets were playing their second game in two nights and decided to sit All-Star Russell Westbrook for tonight’s game.
The Pistons opened the game up on a 15-8 run. A three-pointer from Pistons forward Tony Snell gave the Pistons a 23-14 lead with five minutes left in the first quarter. The Rockets responded with a 12-0 run to retake the lead 26-23. With Pistons center Andre Drummond (eye) unavailable for tonight’s game, Rockets center Clint Capela went off to a hot start, with 10 quick first-quarter points. The Rockets ended the first quarter with a 32-30 lead over the Pistons.
The Pistons went on a 12-3 run early in the second quarter to take the lead 42-35. A layup by Rockets All-Star James Harden brought the Rockets back to within three, but a Luke Kennard three-pointer gave the Pistons a 52-46 lead with 4:09 left to play in the half. A late Tony Snell three-point shot as the game clock expired gave the Pistons a 62-52 lead to end the first half. Pistons guard Luke Kennard lead all scorers with 18 first-half points. For the Rockets, James Harden finished the first half with 14 points. Clint Capela finished with 12 first-half points for the Rockets.
Pistons forward Blake Griffin, who finished with two points, two rebounds and two assist in 15 minutes, was ruled out for the second half of the game due to left knee soreness.
Pistons forward Markieff Morris, who started the second half in place of Blake Griffin, made a three-pointer to give the Pistons a 67-54 lead over the Rockets. Pistons guard Bruce Brown Jr. extended the lead to 69-54 with a layup. Later on, a three-point shot by James Harden helped the Rockets cut the lead to single digits but a dunk by Pistons center Christian Wood and another three-point make from Markieff Morris gave the Pistons an 85-73 lead with 1:47 left to play in the third. The Pistons ended the third quarter with an 88-75 lead.
Rockets started the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run, cutting into the Pistons lead 88-81. The Rockets were able to take the Pistons lead to single digits a few times, but the Pistons had an answer for them each step of the way. A Bruce Brown Jr. dunk gave the Pistons another double-digit lead, putting the Pistons up 94-84 with 8:49 left to play in the game. Pistons guard Derrick Rose had his fingerprints all over this one in the fourth quarter, and besides a few close calls late, the Pistons were able to defeat the Rockets with no problems.
Derrick Rose finished tonight’s game with 20 points and 12 assists, his third double-double of the season. Luke Kennard finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Bruce Brown Jr. flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists to go along with four steals. For the Rockets, it was James Harden who led all scorers with 39 points, to go along with six rebounds and seven assists.
The Pistons will take tomorrow off before returning home on Monday to take on the Washington Wizards at 7 PM.