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Houston Rockets Lose To Pistons, Dropping Second Straight – Player Grades

Jan 20, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) is defended by Houston Rockets guard Ty Lawson (3) in the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 20, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) is defended by Houston Rockets guard Ty Lawson (3) in the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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After losing one of their most entertaining games of the season, the Houston Rockets were back in action against the Detroit Pistons, Wednesday at the Toyota Center in Houston.

During the first 12 minutes, Rockets fans thought they were in for another embarrassing and disappointing loss. Houston shot 34.5 percent to start the game. If their poor shooting wasn’t enough to begin on a bad note, the Rockets lost their all-star center just minutes after the opening tip.

While Houston trailed by nine at the half, it was JB Bickerstaff’s Hack-A-Drummond strategy that allowed the Rockets to get back into the game early in the third. Although they fought back to overcome adversity, the Rockets still managed to lose their second straight game in a row.  

64. . 114. 169. 123

Rockets Player Grades

C. Houston Rockets. DWIGHT HOWARD. C. Howard’s night came to an unexpected end too soon. Just minutes after the opening tip, Dwight Howard took a hard foul to the back from Pistons’ center  Andre Drummond. Howard suffered an ankle sprain in the collision, and did not return to the game. His status for Friday’s night game against the Milwaukee Bucks remains uncertain.

C. Houston Rockets. CLINT CAPELA. B. While he remains a work in progress, Clint Capela had a great night.  With Howard out, Capela was more aggressive on the floor. At times, he looked like a miniature Dwight Howard on both ends of the floor. Overall, one of Capela’s best game of the season. 10 points, 13 rebounds.

F. <span style=. SF. Houston Rockets. TREVOR ARIZA

A+. The other half of the Rockets’ dynamic duo had a great individual game. Scoring 13 of Houston’s 23 points in the first quarter, it seemed as if James Harden was the only Rocket who came ready to play tonight. At the half, Harden had 17 points, and was Houston’s primary play maker with eight assists. With Howard out, Harden took it upon himself to become the glass cleaner registering a career high 17 rebounds. By night’s end he had recorded a triple-double. One of his best performances of the season. 33 points, 17 rebounds, 14 assists.. SG. Houston Rockets. JAMES HARDEN

A+. THIS IS THE PLAYER FANS HAVE WAITED TO SEE ALL SEASON! Receiving the notification about Lawson’s starting role became the most exciting news of the night, and he did not disappoint.  Although he had a slow start to the game, midway during the first half Lawson became Houston’s second best player on the floor. He scored 10 of his 12 first half points in the second quarter, which helped the Rockets cut the Pistons lead to one point. It’s unfortunate that it came in a loss, but this was Lawson’s best game as a Rocket. 18 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds.. PG. Houston Rockets. TY LAWSON

Best Reserve

A. By far the best player off the bench. T-Jones was the most dominant reserve against the Pistons. When the Rockets needed a stop or a bucket in the second half, Jones was the one player that stepped up off the bench. 18 points.. PF. Houston Rockets. TERRENCE JONES

Best Opponent:

PF. Detroit Pistons. ERSAN ILYASOVA. A. Although he recorded another double-double tonight, his 13 for 36 from the foul line kept Drummond from receiving this honor. Instead, the Pistons’ top performer was Turkey native Ersan Ilyasova. When Houston started to take over the game in the third, Ilyasova became a scoring machine to help Detroit regain the lead. 18 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block.

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