for this game

Pistons beat Rockets, roll to fifth straight win

Dec 24, 2007 - 3:12 AM By Paula Pasche PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) - The Houston Rockets haven't had much success in recent years when they visit Motown, and things didn't change on Sunday.

Richard Hamilton scored 17 points to lead five players in double figures as the Detroit Pistons collected their fifth straight win with a 94-82 victory over the Rockets.

Detroit held Houston to 40 percent shooting (29-of-72), forced 17 turnovers and held the starters to a total of 40 points on 14-of-38 shooting.

"It's been a while since I've been here seeing our defense going the way it is now," McDyess said. "It seems everyone is on the same page. When we're not, the bench comes in and gives us a big lift. ... It seems every game in the second half we've been turning it on and it gives us a big boost."

Houston's Tracy McGrady re-aggravated his sore left knee early in the third quarter and did not return. He finished with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

Yao Ming, who received four stitches above his eye following a third-quarter collision with teammate Luther Head, scored 12 points for the Rockets, who fell to 1-2 on their road trip.

"It was a pretty good game for us," Detroit guard Chauncey Billups said. "We knew that team was on the fourth game in (five) days. We pretty much took control of the game in the second quarter and we never really looked back. Except both of their stars went out, but I thought we pretty much had control at that point."

Jason Maxiell netted 14 points off the bench and Antonio McDyess added 13 and 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who have won seven straight meetings at home over Houston.

Detroit has captured 11 of 12 in the series overall.

After suffering a three-point loss in the first meeting on December 12, the Pistons expected another battle in this one but didn't get it mostly because of Rasheed Wallace's red-hot first half.

The 6-10 Wallace came out hitting on all cylinders, scoring 14 first-half points in helping Detroit create a 51-44 advantage at intermission.

"We really got (Wallace) involved throwing it into him down there on the block," said Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince, who scored 13 points. "Obviously when he's making inside and outside shots that's when he's at his best. He really got us off to a great start early in the game."

The Rockets tried to hang around after the break, but Detroit pulled away for good behind a 14-5 surge to extend its lead to 69-53 on Hamilton's driving layup at the 4:24 mark.

"We stayed close but the third quarter they really took over the game," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "We didn't push the ball like we needed to. We walked it up the court. Just had some surges but not consistency throughout the game."

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