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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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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.

Rockets win.

"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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