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Rockets edge Pistons 103-102 to end 3-game losing streak
POSTED: January 22, 2021 -- 11:12 p.m. CT
DETROIT, MI (Little Caesars Arena) -- The Houston Rockets defeated the Detroit Pistons 103-102 Friday night to end a 3-game losing streak. Eric Gordon scored 20 points to lead Houston.
Six other Rockets scored in double-digits: P.J. Tucker scored 15; Sterling Brown scored 14; Jae'Sean Tate, David Nwaba, and Victor Oladipo each scored 13 points; and Ben McLemore added 10.
Despite entering the game with a 3-11 record, Detroit, now 3-12, played the first quarter as if they took the Rockets for granted. Detroit's lack of focus and sloppiness resulted in 9 first quarter turnovers. Houston (5-9) scored 11 points off the 9 turnovers.
Houston led 34-21 at the end of the first quarter and 45-25 with 8:43 remaining in the second quarter. However, Detroit stopped turning over the ball and the Rockets' offense bogged down which helped Detroit finish the second quarter with a 22-10 run to cut Houston's lead to 55-47 at halftime.
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Houston pushed the lead to 66-55 with 8:05 left in the third period; but, Detroit outscored Houston 26-11 the rest of the quarter to lead 81-77 after 3 periods.
Houston scored 13 of the first 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead 90-85 with 7 minutes to go in the ball game. Houston stretched the margin to 8 (95-87); however, Houston was unable to put Detroit away as the Pistons hung around and inched within two points 3 times.
Eric Gordon split two free throws with 42.7 seconds remaining. Detroit's Blake Griffin hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to cut Houston's lead to 103-102 with 29.9 seconds remaining. Gordon and Oladipo each missed field goal attempts. Griffin rebounded Oladipo's missed 3 and Detroit called timeout with 3.2 seconds remaining.
Detroit advanced the ball into the frontcourt with the timeout and set up a final play. Griffin inbounded to Jerami Grant. P.J. Tucker guarded Grant. Grant got a step on Tucker; however, Grant was unable to get off a shot before the clock expired. Tucker made contact with Grant on the drive; but, the contact occurred after the clock hit zero.
The officials checked the Replay Monitor to review the play and confirmed the contact happened after the clock expired.
"It was a much-needed win; but, we still got a long way to go," Eric Gordon said after the game.
The Rockets head to Dallas to face the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night, January 23, at 8 p.m.
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