NBA Game Summary - Detroit at Houston
(Wednesday, December 12th)
Final Score: Houston 80, Detroit 77
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady scored a game-high 29 points as the Houston Rockets survived a tense final minute to beat the Detroit Pistons, 80-77, at the Toyota Center.
Richard Hamilton connected on a three with 1:22 left to bring Detroit within two at 79-77. After each team was scoreless on its next possession, Hamilton tried to create a fast break score of a Yao Ming miss, but Houston knocked the ball out of bounds.
Detroit inbounded the ball with 11.4 seconds left, and got two good looks at a three. But Rasheed Wallace missed from the right side of the arc, and Chauncey Billups missed from the left. Yao came down with the rebound and was fouled with 0.8 seconds left. He made 1-of-2, but the Pistons couldn't get a shot off as time expired.
Yao finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds, as Houston snapped a two-game losing streak in a cold-shooting game for both teams. Houston made just 6-of-22 free throws, despite shooting 46 percent from the field.
"We did a poor job of shooting free throws," McGrady said. "Yao missed his first two and I was 0-for-5. It was pretty bad tonight, so for us to come out with this win tonight, it's just really unexplainable."
Quipped Pistons coach Flip Saunders: "We did one thing good. We defended very well at the free throw line. Probably as good as anyone has defended in the game."
Detroit, meanwhile, made 13-of-22 free throws, but shot 36 percent from the field as its two-game winning streak was snapped. Wallace led the Pistons with 21 points, and Jason Maxiell hauled in 13 rebounds to go with nine points.
Neither team had larger than a five-point lead in the first quarter, when Luther Head drove in for a layup to give Houston a 16-11 edge. Otherwise, Billups scored nine of his 15 overall points and the Rockets had an 18-16 lead coming out of the stanza.
The Pistons held a few five-point advantages in the second quarter, but Houston came back to take the lead at halftime. McGrady's dunk with four seconds left put the Rockets up 38-33.
The third quarter proved to be more volatile, as the Rockets put together an 11-2 run to start the stanza. McGrady connected on back-to-back threes at the end of the span to give the Rockets a 49-35 lead.
But shortly after, the Pistons went on a 12-2 run. Billups hit the final shot to bring Detroit within 55-51, and made another jumper with 38 seconds left in the quarter to trim Houston's lead to 57-55.
Houston built up another lead with a 12-0 run in the middle of the fourth quarter. McGrady drained a three, and Yao sank a hook shot to end it and give the Rockets a 73-63 lead with 4:42 left.
But again, the Pistons got back in the game. Wallace made a nice move in the lane for a layup that brought Detroit within six, and a long three from the center of the arc to trim the Rockets' lead to 79-74 with 1:46 left.
Detroit's Antonio McDyess rolled his ankle in the fourth quarter, after trying to contest a shot, and left the game. But he later returned finished with 12 points...Hamilton had 14 points...The Rockets had 25 assists, and the Pistons had just 15...Houston opened a two-game homestand, and will finish it on Saturday against Dallas.
12/13 00:49:09 ET