Monster night from Howard as Rockets beat Pistons

Monster night from Howard as Rockets beat Pistons
December 21, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Highlights: Rockets bounce back vs. Pistons

(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)

The Houston Rockets are really taking this whole team unity thing a little too far. With James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik already out due to injuries, both Greg Smith and Pat Beverley had to leave the game in the first half against Detroit after they got hurt. Even with all that injury malaise, the Rockets still had enough to beat the Pistons, 114-97.

The clear driving force behind the win was Dwight Howard, who had a monster game with 35 points, 19 rebounds and five assists. The 35 points are a season high for Howard, who made 9-of-14 free throws.

Smith re-injured his knee and did not return. The extent of the injury is unknown. The initial report on Beverley is that he fractured his right hand and will be re-evaluated tomorrow when the team returns to Houston.

Chandler Parsons added 20 points, 15 coming in the second half, as the Rockets improved their record on the second night of a back-to-back to 6-1.

The game was over when
Rockets head coach Kevin McHale called timeout with 9:22 left in the game and the Rockets lead down to ten, 92-82. Dwight Howard and Aaron Brooks checked back into the game and the Pistons never got any closer.

Numbers of the night
Francisco Garcia, starting for James Harden, scored 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and made 4-of-8 3-pointers.

Next up
The Rockets will be back in Houston to face the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. It's already the third meeting of the season between the two teams, with each winning on their home floor. The last meeting was in Dallas and the Rockets built an 18-point lead only to see it disappear. The Mavericks outscored Houston 11-2 in the final 2:42 of the game to win by three, 123-120