(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons will lift the lid on the second half of the NBA season, as the two are scheduled to collide tonight at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Houston headed to the break with a 26-31 record and a last-place distinction in the Southwest Division. It went 1-3 on a four-game homestand and closed the residency with last Wednesday's 114-105 loss versus the Philadelphia 76ers at the Toyota Center.
Kyle Lowry finished with a career-high 36 points and handed out seven assists, while Luis Scola posted 26 points and 13 rebounds for the Rockets, who began the homestand riding a three-game winning streak.
"We just didn't guard them (76ers)," Houston coach Rick Adelman said. "We didn't guard them all night long. We talked about what they were going to do. They get the ball, they attack you, they shoot it. A lot of guys just put it on the floor. We just never made enough stops in the last three quarters."
The Rockets will also visit Cleveland and their short trip and sport an 11-18 record away from Space City in 2010-11.
Detroit went 21-36 in the first half of the NBA season and sits just ahead of Cleveland for second to last in the Central standings. It will wrap up a five- game homestand Tuesday and is 1-3 on the residency following a 115-109 overtime triumph versus Indiana on Feb. 16.
The Pistons outscored the Pacers, 11-5, in the extra session and got 25 points and 11 rebounds from Tayshaun Prince. Rodney Stuckey chipped in 18 points and six assists, while Ben Gordon had 16 points for Detroit, which ended a three- game slide and won for the second time in six contests. The Pistons also snapped a six-game slide against Indiana.
"They just didn't want to go away. I give them a lot of credit, a lot of teams right before the (All-Star) break, they kind of relax. I'm looking forward to the break, but they gave it everything they had tonight," Gordon said of the division-rival Pacers. "I'm happy with this, we showed a lot of poise and we didn't falter, and we got the 'W.'"
Tracy McGrady had 15 points in a winning effort and eclipsed the 18,000-point mark for his career. McGrady needs 13 assists to hit 4,000. Detroit improved to 14-15 at The Palace this season. Guard Richard Hamilton is listed as questionable this evening with a sore right groin.
Houston handed the Pistons a 97-83 loss on Dec. 7 this season in Texas, as Scola led the charge with 35 points and 12 rebounds. The Rockets have won four of five overall matchups between the teams, but have dropped eight of nine and 12 of the previous 14 encounters at The Palace of Auburn Hills.