HOUSTON, March 1 (Xinhua) -- The Houston Rockets won their first game after the All-Star at Toyota Center Saturday night, beating the Detroit Pistons 118-110.
The Rockets had a stunning opening and scored 23 points in the first five minutes while the Pistons had a meager six.
By the end of the first quarter, Houston led 41-20. Houston maintained their momentum in the second quarter and handled Detroit's defense with ease. They shot 61.4 percent from the field and led 69-46 at halftime.
During the second half, however, the Pistons began to struggle and chipped away little by little.
They outscored the Rockets 34-26 in the third quarter and once narrowed the deficit to seven points in the fourth.
However, the big lead Houston established during the first half and a critical pair of 3-pointers in the last minutes saved the host team from collapsing.
The Rockets never trailed throughout the whole game. Terrence Jones led Houston's players with 22 points and 10 rebounds, James Harden finished with 20 points and 12 assists, and Dwight Howard added 17 points and eight rebounds.
Rodney Stuckey grabbed 23 points for Detroit, Josh Smith contributed 21 points while Drummond had 16 points and 17 rebounds.
With the win, Houston have improved to 40-19 on the season. Detroit are 23-36.