National Basketball Association
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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 21st (All times Eastern)

Houston Rockets (17-10) at Detroit Pistons (13-15), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets will end a quick road trip Saturday night when they visit The Palace of Auburn Hills to face the Detroit Pistons.

The Rockets were the unfortunate victims of an angry Indiana Pacers squad Friday night in Indianapolis. The Pacers hadn't lost three straight games all season and they walloped the Rockets, 114-81.

"They just played way better than we did," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale. "They played more aggressively, they moved the ball well and we didn't. They got down, spread us out, got threes, we didn't. They were just a lot better than we were tonight, just all around."

The Rockets only shot 38 percent from the field and 4-for-22 from long range. Meanwhile, the Pacers shot 53 percent from the floor and 46 percent from 3- point range.

Houston was without Jeremy Lin (back) and Omer Asik (thigh), but several other Rockets were dinged.

Dwight Howard paced the Rockets with 19 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Chandler Parsons was next in the scoring column with 14 points, followed by 12 from James Harden and 10 out of Terrence Jones.

The Rockets return home after this quick trip for a date with the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. Then, Houston tees it up with the San Antonio Spurs on Christmas Day.

The Pistons suffered a bad loss on Friday night, losing to the Charlotte Bobcats, 116-106 at The Palace. Losing to the Bobcats itself is not shameful, but blowing a 20-point lead in the second quarter is nothing to brag about.

"It happened so fast, I really don't know what to say. It's kind of unbelievable what just happened," said Pistons guard Brandon Jennings. "It's just funny that we finish games better on the road than we do at home. Usually you would think it's the opposite."

The Pistons have won six of seven as the visitor, but have lost 9 of their last 13 at home.

Detroit shot 52 percent from long range, but allowed Charlotte to shoot that same percentage from the field.

Jennings led the Pistons with 26 points, followed by 18 from Josh Smith. Andre Drummond registered yet another double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Greg Monroe (13), Josh Harrellson (12) and Kyle Singler (10) also scored in double figures for the Pistons, who saw their two-game winning streak come to a screeching halt.

The Rockets have won five straight against the Pistons, but is 3-8 in their last 11 at The Palace.

12/21 10:57:13 ET

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