NBA Game Summary - Detroit at Houston
(Friday, November 18th)
Final Score: Detroit 78, Houston 70
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Richard Hamilton had 19 points as Detroit remained the lone unbeaten team in the NBA with a 78-70 win over Houston at the Toyota Center.
Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace both added 14 points for the Pistons, who have won their first eight games this season. Chauncey Billups contributed 13 in the win.
Detroit is off to the club's best start since also beginning 8-0 in 1988-89 when the Pistons went on to win the first of their three NBA titles. The win also put Detroit one victory shy of the best start in franchise history, as the 1970-71 Pistons began their campaign with a 9-0 mark.
"In the first half, we were just going through the motions," Wallace said. "In the second half, we wanted to defend. Anytime you win it feels good. We are still undefeated, but we have a lot of basketball left to play."
Yao Ming scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who have dropped three of their past four contests. David Wesley scored 14 points and Stromile Swift posted 12 points and hauled in nine boards in the setback.
"Whether it's on the road or at home, we need to run our offense in the last couple of minutes," Yao said. "We have not been finishing out job. My fouls are making me leave the game. Also, I didn't take care of the ball and that gave the Pistons many more scoring opportunities."
All-Star guard Tracy McGrady had a miserable game and finished just 3-of-16 for six points in the loss. McGrady did not play in the fourth quarter after being plagued by tightness in his back.
Detroit led by three at halftime and extended its edge in the third period. Leading 44-41 midway through the stanza, the Pistons ran off seven straight points, keyed by Billups' three, to seize a 10-point edge.
Houston did close within six on Wesley's three late in the period, but eventually trailed 57-48 after 36 minutes.
The Rockets scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to pull within four and got within 62-60 on Yao's three-point play with 8:02 to go. Swift then trimmed the gap to 67-66 with 5:08 remaining, but Houston could not get over the hump and take the upper hand down the stretch.
Leading 69-68 moments later, Detroit scored seven straight points, highlighted by four from Wallace, to pull ahead by eight with 2:05 left. The Rockets did not get any closer than six in the waning minutes.
Detroit led 26-22 after one quarter and held a 39-36 edge at the intermission.
"We definitely were not happy at halftime, because we weren't playing well," Billups said. "The last five minutes of the game, we really turned it on and played good Pistons basketball. This was a grind it out, gutsy type of basketball game."
The Pistons are 5-0 on the road this season...Detroit scored a season-low 13 points in the second quarter...Pistons center Ben Wallace left late in the fourth quarter with a leg injury. He ended with five points and a game-high 16 rebounds, including seven offensive.
11/19 02:22:20 ET