Houston, TX – Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Terrence Jones had 22 points and 10 rebounds and the Houston Rockets held on for a 118-110 win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.
The Pistons, after trailing by 25 in the first half, whittled the deficit all the way to seven with a 10-1 run late in the fourth quarter.
James Harden scored 12 of his 20 points in the first quarter, when the Rockets shot 70.8 percent for a 41-20 lead.
Harden had 12 assists and Houston pushed its winning streak against Detroit to seven in a row overall and eight straight at home. Patrick Beverley added 19 points and Dwight Howard had 17, but just two in the second half.
"I didn't like the way we came out in the second half," Howard said. "I thought we should have really kept our foot on the gas and buried them."
Omri Casspi scored 16 off the bench for the Rockets, who have won 11 of 13.
Rodney Stuckey had 23 points to lead Detroit and Josh Smith scored 21. Andre Drummond chipped in 16 points and 17 rebounds but the Pistons suffered their fourth loss in a row overall and seventh straight on the road.
They went 0-2 on a Texas swing, which started with a 120-110 loss to San Antonio on Wednesday.
Pistons interim coach John Loyer said things eventually began to "click" for his team. Detroit shot 55.6 percent in the last two quarters -- almost 20 points better than the first two.
"There's two halves to a game and fortunately we played better in the second half," said Loyer.
There wasn't anywhere to go but up.
Harden, Howard and Jones scored six points apiece and Beverley had the other five in a 23-6 Houston run to start the game. Howard opened the game with a dunk, so the Rockets never trailed.
Harden's runner in the final seconds gave Houston its 41-20 lead.
The Rockets shot 50 percent in the second quarter, led by as many as 25 twice and had a 69-46 advantage at halftime behind Howard's 15 points. They were up 95-80 going into the fourth.
Stuckey had six points in Detroit's late run. His layup cut it to 114-107 with 1:18 remaining, but Harden made two free throws at the other end to stem the tide and the Pistons only scored three more points.
The Rockets will host Miami on Tuesday ... The Pistons return home for two in a row starting against New York on Monday.