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Rockets handle Pistons

Jan 18, 2012 - 4:50 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Samuel Dalembert had 14 points and 12 rebounds, as the Houston Rockets handled the Detroit Pistons, 97-80.

Luis Scola added 14 points and five rebounds for the Rockets, who have won four in a row to improve to .500 for the first time since their first four games of the season.

"It's awesome," said Kyle Lowry, who had 13 points, five rebounds and five assists. "It was a goal of ours and now we just have to build off it."

Patrick Patterson ended with 12 points for Houston, which improved to 5-1 at home this season. Goran Dragic and Kevin Martin each had 11 points.

Tayshaun Prince donated 20 points for the Pistons, who fell to 3-11 on the season. Ben Gordon and Rodney Stuckey added 18 and 16 points, respectively.

"I think from an effort, energy, intensity and focus standpoint, I thought we were where we need to be," said Detroit coach Lawrence Frank. "If we can get that effort for 36 of 48 (minutes) and we focus on cleaning up our execution, we will get better."

Holding an 11-8 lead with 5:54 left in the first quarter, Houston put together a 13-2 run. Lowry's layup with 1:36 to go made it a 24-10 game.

The Rockets shot 68.4 percent from the field over the first 12 minutes to grab a 28-20 lead.

Houston led by as many as nine in the second frame and took a 47-40 edge into the locker room.

Holding a 49-46 lead with 9:11 left in the third quarter, the Rockets went on a 10-0 run. Patterson's putback layup gave the home team a 59-46 margin with 4:32 to go.

The Rockets, who took a 69-59 lead into the fourth, led by as many as 18 in the final frame.

Game Notes

The Rockets have won three straight and six of seven overall against Detroit...Detroit fell to 1-6 on the road this season...The Rockets started a three-game homestand on Tuesday...The Rockets made eight three-pointers, compared to four for the Pistons...Brandon Knight ended with 15 points for Detroit...Rockets guard Courtney Lee returned after sitting out eight games with a right calf strain. He had six points off the bench.