Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and D.J. Augustin each scored 28 points as the Detroit Pistons beat the Houston Rockets 114-101 on Saturday night.
Augustin added a season-high 12 assists for one of three double-doubles by the Pistons. Greg Monroe had 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Andre Drummond finished with 11 points and 16 boards.
Kyle Singler scored 14 points and Anthony Tolliver supplied 12 for Detroit, which snapped a four-game losing streak and ended a seven-game skid against Houston.
"We needed this win; it was a big win against a good team," Augustin said. "It just builds our confidence and lets us know if we stick together and stay with it, we can beat any team in the league."
James Harden left the game late in the second quarter with a bruised left knee, but returned for the Rockets at the start of the second half and went on to score 26 points with nine assists and seven rebounds.
Donatas Motiejunas had 21 points and Trevor Ariza added 15 for the Rockets, who had won four straight. Josh Smith missed eight of 11 shots while scoring just seven points in his first game against the Pistons since they waived him in December.
Houston clearly felt Dwight Howard's absence as Detroit scored 58 points in the paint. Howard missed his fourth straight game with a knee injury.
The team held its breath as the training staff huddled around Harden with 4:48 left in the second quarter. Harden went down on a drive to the basket, clutching his knee.
"I went up to the rim; knee on knee, right on the bone. I couldn't feel my leg," Harden said. "My leg was numb for a minute. I was just hoping it wasn't as bad as it felt. I came back here and just took some time. The doctor said it's going to be painful for a short amount of time, but you should be alright. So I just took a couple of deep breaths, relaxed and got back out there on the court."
The Rockets were down 21 late in the third quarter, but rallied to trim their deficit to 92-88 on a Motiejunas alley-oop layup with 5:58 remaining in the game.
Detroit fended off Houston's surge and restored a double-digit lead at 104-94 on two Augustin free throws with 1:41 left.
The Pistons shot 50 percent and had a 44-39 rebounding advantage ... Patrick Beverley and Corey Brewer each scored 10 points for Houston.