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Howard, Rockets down Pistons

Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Dwight Howard had a season-high 35 points and collected 19 rebounds as the Houston Rockets topped the Detroit Pistons 114-97 on Saturday.

Howard's monster performance was in large part due to the absence of Houston's leading scorer, James Harden, who sat out due to an ankle sprain.

"He played really well. He has been on a really good roll the last three weeks. Guys are getting a little more comfortable playing off of him. He was fantastic tonight," Houston coach Kevin McHale said.

Chandler Parsons tallied 20 points and Francisco Garcia added 16 for the Rockets, who bounced back from a 33-point loss to Indiana on Friday.

Josh Smith led four Pistons scorers in double figures with 19 points and Greg Monroe recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Kyle Singler scored 12 and Will Bynum added 11 points for Detroit, which has lost two straight.

"We are still trying to get better, night in and night out. As I said to our players, there will be some nights when we will have good nights; there will be some nights when we have bad nights," said Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks. "Last night and tonight was not our best for sure. It was just not our best. We have to regroup, take our time and get ready for Cleveland."

Houston broke out to an early 8-2 lead, but the Pistons responded by scoring 13 of the next 17 points. Later, Patrick Beverley scored the final eight Houston points of the first quarter to give the Rockets a 33-24 advantage.

The Rockets drained three consecutive 3-pointers early in the second stanza to grab a 17-point lead. The Pistons scored the final four points of the half to get within 61-53.

A Smith slam to start the third quarter got the Pistons within six, but that's as close as they would come. Parsons' running jumper to end the third put Houston up by 15.

The Pistons pulled within 10 early in the fourth on a Andre Drummond tip-in, but Detroit would get no closer as Howard knocked down a hook shot out of a timeout. On the next possession, Garcia's 3 had the edge to 13 points, and Houston rolled the rest of the way.

Game Notes

The Rockets have a six-game winning streak in the series ... It was Howard's 18th double-double of the season ... Rockets guard Jeremy Lin missed his fourth consecutive contest due to back spasms.

12/22 00:51:40 ET

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Schedule

Monday, April 21Full Scoreboard
Memphis 4/21 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City TNT, FSN-OK
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Oklahoma City leads series, 1-0.
Golden State 4/21 10:30 PM ET
LA Clippers TNT, CSN-BAY
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Golden State leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Toronto 48 34 .585 --- 26-15 22-19 32-20 L 1
x-Brooklyn 44 38 .537 4 28-13 16-25 26-26 L 2
New York 37 45 .451 11 19-22 18-23 26-26 W 4
Boston 25 57 .305 23 16-25 9-32 21-31 L 2
Philadelphia 19 63 .232 29 10-31 9-32 14-38 W 2
 
Central W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Indiana 56 26 .683 --- 35-6 21-20 38-14 W 2
x-Chicago 48 34 .585 8 27-14 21-20 35-17 L 1
Cleveland 33 49 .402 23 19-22 14-27 21-31 W 1
Detroit 29 53 .354 27 17-24 12-29 23-29 L 4
Milwaukee 15 67 .183 41 10-31 5-36 12-40 L 3
 
Southeast W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Miami 54 28 .659 --- 32-9 22-19 34-18 L 3
x-Washington 44 38 .537 10 22-19 22-19 33-19 W 4
x-Charlotte 43 39 .524 11 25-16 18-23 30-22 W 3
x-Atlanta 38 44 .463 16 24-17 14-27 28-24 W 1
Orlando 23 59 .280 31 19-22 4-37 17-35 L 4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
2013 - 2014 Western Conference Standings
 
Northwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Oklahoma City 59 23 .720 --- 34-7 25-16 36-16 W 1
x-Portland 54 28 .659 5 31-10 23-18 31-21 W 5
Minnesota 40 42 .488 19 24-17 16-25 23-29 L 3
Denver 36 46 .439 23 22-19 14-27 20-32 L 2
Utah 25 57 .305 34 16-25 9-32 13-39 W 1
 
Pacific W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-LA Clippers 57 25 .695 --- 34-7 23-18 36-16 L 1
x-Golden State 51 31 .622 6 27-14 24-17 31-21 W 2
Phoenix 48 34 .585 9 26-15 22-19 28-24 W 1
Sacramento 28 54 .341 29 17-24 11-30 15-37 L 1
LA Lakers 27 55 .329 30 14-27 13-28 15-37 W 2
 
Southwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-San Antonio 62 20 .756 --- 32-9 30-11 38-14 L 2
x-Houston 54 28 .659 8 33-8 21-20 31-21 L 1
x-Memphis 50 32 .610 12 27-14 23-18 29-23 W 5
x-Dallas 49 33 .598 13 26-15 23-18 29-23 L 1
New Orleans 34 48 .415 28 22-19 12-29 15-37 W 2
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
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Scoreboard
Local
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
2nd
BOS 0
BAL 0
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
ANA
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
STL
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
ARI
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
SDP
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SFG
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
TEX
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
HOU
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
COL
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
9:30pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR