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National Basketball Association
Preview
Detroit at Houston
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, March 6, 2015
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas


The Detroit Pistons will carry a four-game losing streak into a matchup against the Houston Rockets for the second time this season and they’ll shoot for a repeat performance Friday in the finale of their three-game road trip. The Pistons beat the Rockets by 13 points on Jan. 31 as Detroit guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored his season high of 28 points. Houston has won eight straight at home against the Pistons and will be trying to avoid its first three-game losing streak of the season.

Houston was also torched by 28 points from D.J. Augustin in the last meeting against Detroit, but he now plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder and Reggie Jackson, who came over to the Pistons in the trade for Augustin, is the third starting point guard Detroit has used this season. Jackson has also fared well in two games against the Rockets this season, totaling 15 points and 11 assists in a 69-65 loss in November - the fewest points scored by a winning team in 11 years - and scoring 16 in an 11-point loss in January. This will also represent Detroit’s second meeting against Houston forward Josh Smith, who was waived by the Pistons on Dec. 22.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, ROOT Sports (Houston)

ABOUT THE PISTONS (23-37): Although the Pistons have lost four straight, the last two were by a combined seven points and the loss before that was in overtime. Detroit needs to take better care of the basketball against the Rockets, as it had 19 turnovers in Wednesday’s three-point loss to the New Orleans Pelicans and 17 the game before against the Washington Wizards. Greg Monroe has been the biggest offender, combining for 11 giveaways in the last two games, but his five straight double-doubles have helped soften the sting.

ABOUT THE ROCKETS (41-20): James Harden lost his NBA scoring lead to Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook on Wednesday night and seems to be falling behind in the league MVP race as well. Westbrook is going through a phenomenal stretch but Harden is also sliding backwards in the scoring department, failing to surpass his 26.9 season average in three of his last four games and five of seven. Harden has reached double figures in assists in four of his last five games, however.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Rockets are 46-17 all-time at home against the Pistons and 17-46 on the road.

2. The Pistons are tied for the third-best winning percentage (.563) in the Eastern Conference since Dec. 26.

3. Caldwell-Pope has improved his scoring average by 6.4 points from last season, which ranks third in the NBA among players with at least 50 appearances in each of the last two seasons.

PREDICTION: Rockets 104, Pistons 97
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Detroit 23-37 L4 12-20 11-17 3-2 20-35 5-7 15-21
Houston 41-20 L2 23-9 17-11 3-0 38-20 5-6 23-14
Last Meeting
Detroit Houston
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/31/15 HOU 101 DET 114 114 44 50.0 101 39 44.8
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Detroit D. Augustin 28 61.5 11
Houston J. Harden 26 58.8 4
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Detroit A. Drummond 16 8 8
Houston J. Harden 7 0 7
Assists Player  
Detroit D. Augustin 12
Houston J. Harden 9
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Detroit G. Monroe 1007 50.1 231
Houston J. Harden 1721 44.6 527
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Detroit A. Drummond 858 325 533
Houston D. Motiejunas 402 135 267
Assists Player  
Detroit B. Jennings 316
Houston J. Harden 441
Quickchart Matchup
Detroit Off vs  Houston Defense
98.3 Points For
99.8 Points Against
42.8 FG%
44.1 FG%
45.5 Reb
43.3 Reb
Houston Off vs  Detroit Defense
103.1 Points For
99.6 Points Against
43.9 FG%
45.6 FG%
43.3 Reb
44.2 Reb