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Barry sparks Detroit to victory with 13 points

3/5/2003

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons broke a
seven-game losing streak Tuesday night, and they did it with a lot
of help from a forgotten man.

Jon Barry, who had played only 14 minutes in the previous three
games, returned to the Detroit rotation and scored 13 points in the
second quarter to help the Pistons beat the Houston Rockets 96-83.

"This was great, because it is always difficult to sit and
watch," Barry said. "You want to help, and tonight I was able to
do that. We went out there and took care of business."

Barry had lost much of his playing time to rookie Tayshaun
Prince, but he was a big part of coach Rick Carlisle's plans
against the Rockets.

"Jon Barry had a very efficient game tonight," Carlisle said.
"`Not just with his scoring, but with his playmaking and his very
active defense."

Barry finished with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting, and he had
seven rebounds in 23 minutes.

Richard Hamilton had 26 points and Chauncey Billups added 21 for
the Pistons, who were playing their first game since finishing an
0-5 West Coast trip with a loss in Portland on Sunday.

"We had a tough road trip, and we knew we couldn't blow a
chance to get one here at home," Hamilton said. "I was glad to
see Jon come through -- I'm a big fan of his."

Houston has lost four in a row.

"I thought tonight was just a case of us not being able to hit
shots," Rockets guard Steve Francis said. "It's tough when you
lose games like this, but someone has to win and someone has to
lose."

Cuttino Mobley led the Rockets with 25 points, including 13 in
the fourth quarter, and Yao Ming added 20 points and eight
rebounds. Francis scored 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

"We had great shots, but didn't make them," Rockets coach Rudy
Tomjanovich said. "It's tough to win when you can't put the ball
in the hole."

Yao had only four points in a 98-74 loss to the Pistons on Jan.
24, but he had more luck against Ben Wallace this time.

"I used the last game against him as a reference," Yao said.
"He's a great shot-blocker, but I knew that means he commits
fouls, and I focused on that."

Detroit led by as many as 21 in the first half and led 49-31 at
halftime. The Rockets shot 28 percent in the half.

"We knew that Houston has been struggling, so we felt it was
imperative to come out and jump on them," Billups said. "We
didn't want to let them go out there and get confidence."

The Rockets cut the margin to 53-39 early in the third, but they
couldn't stop Hamilton, who scored eight points in the first 7:11
of the period.

Houston managed just one basket in the first four minutes of the
fourth quarter. That allowed Detroit to build its lead to 18, and
the Rockets didn't get closer than nine again.

Game notes
Pistons center Zeljko Rebraca denied reports out of
Yugoslavia that an irregular heartbeat will end his career. Rebraca
said he's going to try a sixth course of medication this week and
will consider surgery if that doesn't work. Rebraca has been
sidelined since Jan. 6. ... Detroit hadn't swept the Rockets in a
season series since 1991-92. ... The Pistons placed backup point
guard Chucky Atkins (knee) on the injured list before the game and
activated Pepe Sanchez.

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