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>>caption: SHEED (#30) SPARKLED
@ PALACE OF AUBURN HILLS:
Detroit's only NBA All-Star Game
representative was unhappy with
both his playing time and the final
result of Sunday evening's Piston
home loss to Houston, 108-105.
The Rockets were without knee-
bruised All-Star CEN Yao Ming, Detroit
shot 56.4% from the field, moved the
ball around well enough to earn 31 assists,
had just five turnovers, led the visitors
in both fast break and paint points and yet still lost...Lost for the eighth time in
the last 11 games.
The Pistons were defensively confused in the 1st-Qtr where Argentine CEN Luis
Scola scored 10-P as Houston popped for 39-P, the most Detroit has allowed in any
quarter this season. Houston hit 15-of-19 shots during the opening 12-mins including
7-of-9 from beyond the arc to put the Pistons in a hole they couldn't dig out of.
Detroit led only twice during the contest because the Pistons allowed Houston
61-P on 65% shooting by halftime. The Rockets led by as many as 15-P before
holding on at the end.
Although granted starting status this week over Rip Hamilton in Detroit's latest
lineup shake-up, Allen Iverson was upset that he was not on the floor at crunch time,
even though it was Hamilton who led the unsuccessful comeback try.
Down by 13-P with only 7:13 to play, the Pistons outscored Houston 17-7
the rest of the way and got as close as 2-P. Hamilton had over half the points
(8-P) in that effort, including the jumper that brought his team within 107-105
with 10-sec to play.
After Ron Artest made only the first of his two free throws to give Houston
a 108-105 advantage, both Rasheed Wallace and Aaron Afflalo missed 3-pointer
attempts in the closing seconds.
Hamilton had a game-high of 27-P plus 5-A in 30:50 of PT. Iverson had 14-P &
8-A in his 34:12 on the floor.
Also for Detroit, Wallace scored 22-P with a game-high 11-RB and Rodney Stuckey
added 17-P with 8-A.
Artest topped six Rockets scoring in double figures with 24-P. Scola had 21-P and
Tracy McGrady 15-P. Both Shane Battier & Rafer Alston scored 14-P while Alston added
a game-high 10-A. Reserve Von Wafer had 10-P.
PISTONS H-COACH MICHAEL CURRY: "The reality is we didn’t play hard enough in
the first quarter...[The Rockets] had 24 free throws and made 18 of them. We got
20 and made 11. The difference was seven in the free throw category. Very well could
be the difference in the game as well.”
PISTONS GD ALLEN IVERSON: "“I'd be lying if I said I wasn't (disappointed)...I think I
can do more to help us win basketball games...I would have loved to been out there (at
the end). Those are moments guys like myself live for. Just when I thought I’d seen it all,
something else happens.”
PISTONS CEN RASHEED WALLACE: "It was a little bit confusing. We figured it out in the
second half, but by then they had that big lead."
PISTONS GD RODNEY STUCKEY: ""I don't know man. We knew we had to rotate (defensively),
but we rotated too late."
ROCKETS H-COACH RICK ADELMAN: "This is a big win for us on the road. They had great
offensive statistics, so I'm not even sure how we won the game.''
The Pistons fell to 1-7 on Sundays.
The defeat assures Detroit of a losing record for January, the first time in 26 months
they've had a sub-.500 month.
More than an hour after the game ended the Rockets were still stuck on the loading
dock at the Palace in a broken bus. Houston visits the New York Knicks Monday night.
The Pistons make a one game road trip to Minnesota Wednesday.
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