Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/2

Game 1: Tuesday, November 2nd
Game 2: Tuesday, November 30th

Pistons 93

(7-7, 2-6 away)

Rockets 72

(6-10, 2-5 home)

    Coverage: WDWB

    7:30 PM ET, November 30, 2004

    Toyota Center, Houston, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 25 19 25 2493
    HOU 18 15 26 1372

    Top Performers

    Det: C. Billups 18 Pts, 5 Reb, 8 Ast, 3 Stl

    Hou: J. Jackson 21 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Detroit snaps 5-game road losing streak

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Larry Brown was briefly reminded of better days Tuesday night, a time not so long ago when the Detroit Pistons were the toast of the NBA because of their hustle, teamwork and devotion to defense.

    Antonio McDyess had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Richard Hamilton also scored 19, helping the Pistons snap a five-game road losing streak with a 93-72 win over the reeling Houston Rockets.

    "That's the way we used to play," Brown said. "We set the tone. That's probably our best game all year."

    McDyess scored the Pistons' first 12 points in the opening 4½ minutes as Detroit jumped out to an early lead and never trailed, sending the Rockets to their fourth consecutive loss and sixth in the past eight games.

    The Pistons hadn't won away from home since Nov. 8 against the Los Angeles Clippers but got little resistance from the Rockets. Houston dropped its fifth straight at the Toyota Center.

    McDyess filled in admirably for All-Star center Ben Wallace, who completed a six-game suspension for his role in the Nov. 19 brawl with the Indiana Pacers. The Pistons went 3-3 without him, and they certainly didn't need him against the punchless Rockets.

    "Dice came to school and got us off to a big jump start and we never looked back," Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace said. "He just did what he does. He was outstanding."

    Ben Wallace, who's been watching games from his suburban Detroit home during the suspension, will return Friday at San Antonio. He will lose $400,000 of the $6 million he was due to make this season.

    "He should be fresh and he should be light. Light in the pockets," cracked Detroit guard Chauncey Billups, who had 18 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

    Things weren't nearly as lighthearted in the Rockets' somber locker room.

    Houston scored a season-low 72 points, committed 19 turnovers and attempted 16 fewer field goals. The Rockets' 6-10 start is the team's worst since 1999-2000, a major disappointment for a team that was expected to compete for a championship this season.

    "We're losing and it seems like it's the same type of effort every night," said All-Star guard Tracy McGrady, who was acquired in a blockbuster summer trade from Orlando to move Houston closer to the crown.

    "It's got to change because right now it's pretty embarrassing," McGrady said. "It's tough for us to get that type of effort at home in front of our fans."

    In the waning seconds, a group of fans sitting behind the Houston bench began chanting "Fire Gundy!" Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy looked at the vocal bunch, nodded at them and continued frowning at his team's miserable performance.

    The Rockets were booed off the court when the game ended.

    "I think it starts with me," Van Gundy said. "I'm going to get a group that looks like they really want to play. I just haven't provided that this year, and for that, I'm very apologetic to our fans."

    Detroit's rout started with McDyess, who averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds after moving into the starting lineup during Wallace's suspension.

    McDyess continually shook loose of Rockets center Yao Ming, scoring on an assortment on putbacks and jumpers in the opening minutes. His two-handed dunk with 7:39 left in the first quarter gave Detroit a 12-4 lead and touched off the first set of boos from the restless crowd of 15,330.

    "I used my quickness to cut to the basket or take quick shots," McDyess said. "I haven't had an opportunity like this in a long time. I wanted to take advantage of it."

    Hamilton took over from there, hitting a jumper that gave the Pistons a 16-point lead midway through the second quarter.

    The Rockets briefly fought their way back, closing to 54-51 on Yao's basket with 4:17 in the third. But the Pistons quickly pulled away, and Hamilton's free throws at the end of the quarter put Detroit back up by double digits.

    Jim Jackson led Houston with 21 points and eight rebounds, Yao added 19 and McGrady had 16.

    Game notes

    Detroit won in Houston for only the second time in 12 years. ... The Rockets' four-game losing streak is their longest since a seven-game skid from Nov. 27-Dec. 20, 2001. ... Houston forward Juwan Howard, one of the key pieces of the offseason trade with Orlando, didn't get off the bench for a second straight game. ... The Rockets haven't led in a game in almost 129 minutes, since early in the second quarter of last Friday's game against Utah.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 72
    FGM-FGA 36-81 (.444) 28-65 (.431)
    3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 5-14 (.357)
    FTM-FTA 16-20 (.800) 11-17 (.647)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-39 10-35
    Assists 23 18
    Turnovers 8 20
    Steals 11 4
    Blocks 6 4
    Fast Break Points 10 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (1/0) 22 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Chauncey Billups Billups
    Points: 18
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Jim Jackson Jackson
    Points: 21
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0