June 15, 2024

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Pistons’ post-streak high short-lived as Rockets soar to 136-113 victory

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LEADING SCORER. Alperen Sengun leads the charge with 26 points and nine assists for the Rockets’ 136-113 win over the Detroit Pistons in Houston on Monday night (Tuesday, January 2, Philippine time). NBA PHOTO

The Detroit Pistons’ euphoria from ending their 28-game losing streak was short-lived as they faced a resounding 136-113 defeat against the Houston Rockets on Monday night (Tuesday, January 2, Philippine time) at the latter’s home court.
Alperen Sengun led the charge for the Rockets with 26 points and nine assists, while Jalen Green added 22 points, extinguishing the Pistons’ hopes of a consecutive win.
After breaking the losing streak with a thrilling victory over the Toronto Raptors (129-127) on Saturday, the Pistons failed to maintain momentum, falling to a 3-30 record for the season. Coach Monty Williams acknowledged the emotional toll of the win and emphasized the need for a quick recovery in their challenging situation.
The Rockets dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Pistons 47-25, with Green and Sengun combining for 37 points in that period alone. Houston’s head coach, Ime Udoka, praised his team’s mindset and focus after halftime, turning a slim halftime lead into a commanding 106-80 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Sengun, displaying an aggressive approach in the third quarter, rebounded from a lackluster first half, missing a lot of shots, and playing without energy. He said he needed to play better and that he was mad at himself, so he pushed himself in the second half.
The Turkish sensation has now scored at least 20 points in six consecutive games, while Green has notched 20 or more in three straight. The Rockets, snapping a three-game skid, showcased their offensive prowess, shooting 56% from the field, including 15 of 35 from beyond the arc.
Alec Burks led the Pistons with 21 points, supported by Jaden Ivey’s 19 and Bojan Bogdanovic’s 14. Despite shooting 49% from the field and connecting on 13 of 29 three-point attempts, Detroit couldn’t match the relentless energy and work ethic displayed by the Rockets.
Bogdanovic, highlighting the Pistons’ youthful roster, expressed frustration, saying that they are one of the youngest teams in the league, so no one should outwork them, and that’s what happened. “They kind of outrun us, outworked us, and that’s got to stop,” he said.
Houston capitalized on 18 Pistons turnovers, converting them into 33 crucial points. Amen Thompson, in his first matchup against twin brother Ausar Thompson, contributed 12 points for the Rockets, while Ausar finished with five for Detroit.

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