Luis Scola had 35 points and 12 rebounds Tuesday night to lead the Rockets to a 97-83 win over the Detroit Pistons, ruining Tracy McGrady's return to Houston.
McGrady hit a 3-pointer with about eight minutes left to get the Pistons within one, but Houston scored the next seven points to stretch the lead to 85-77 with six minutes remaining. Scola made the last basket of that run and added six of Houston's next eight points as the Rockets built a 93-79 lead.
McGrady, who spent 5½ seasons with the Rockets, finished with 11 points. He got his fourth and fifth fouls shortly after his 3-pointer and went to the bench for good.
Rodney Stuckey had 18 points and five assists for Detroit.
Kyle Lowry added 22 points and 12 assists for Houston, and Kevin Martin had 21 points.
Detroit scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter, capped by a dunk by Greg Monroe, to cut the lead to 76-74 before the Rockets took over.
McGrady played his first game in Houston since being traded to the Knicks last season. He signed with the Pistons as a free agent before the season and moved into a backup role for the first time in his career.
His wife and children greeted him with smiles and waves as they headed to their seats a few rows behind the Detroit bench minutes before tip-off.
Rockets fans were not as happy to see him and booed heartily when he entered the game late in the first quarter. There were a spattering of boos each time he touched the ball early on, but they eventually tapered off. Fans got worked up again late in the third quarter when he was given a foul after pushing Lowry out of bounds while chasing a loose ball.
Houston led by 10 before Stuckey scored seven points in a 9-2 run that cut it to 64-61 with about six minutes left in the third. The Rockets responded with five straight points and carried a 75-66 lead into the fourth.
McGrady snapped a 16-0 Houston run with two free throws late in the first half for Detroit's first points in more than four minutes. But Richard Hamilton was whistled for two technicals and ejected, and Martin made all four free throws to give Houston a 54-45 halftime lead.
NOTES: Houston's Shane Battier started despite struggling with a stomach virus this week. ... Houston's Yao Ming and Aaron Brooks remain out with ankle injuries. ... Martin made 43 straight free throws before missing one on Tuesday. That streak is tied for the second longest in the NBA this season.