Fred VanVleet’s hot 2nd half leads Houston Rockets to comeback victory over Detroit Pistons

DETROIT (AP) — Fred VanVleet scored 17 points in the second half, including eight in a key fourth-quarter stretch, as the Houston Rockets handed the Detroit Pistons their seventh straight loss, 112-110 on Friday night.

Detroit is 1-35 after a 2-1 start, including an NBA-record matching 28-game losing streak. The current streak started with a 136-113 loss to the Rockets on New Year’s Day.

Jaden Ivey had an open look at a game-winning 3-pointer with three seconds left, but it went in and out.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 12: Jalen Duren #0 of the Detroit Pistons dunks on top of Jabari Smith Jr. #10 of the Houston Rockets during the second half at Little Caesars Arena on January 12, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. Houston won the game 112-110. N

Alperen Sengun scored 29 and Jalen Green added 28 for Houston, which had lost two in a row. VanVleet finished with 20 points and 12 assists.

Alec Burks and Kevin Knox II had 19 each for the Pistons, who played without leading scorers Cade Cunningham (knee) and Bojan Bogdanovic (calf).

Detroit took a 103-98 lead on Burks’ 3-pointer with 5:59 left, and the Rockets struggled to hit shots until VanVleet’s 3-point play made it 107-105 with 2:58 left.

After Ivey missed two free throws, VanVleet put Houston ahead with a 3-pointer, then made it 110-107 with a short jumper. VanVleet then picked up his 12th assist, setting up Sengun’s dunk.

Isaiah Stewart, though, hit a 3-pointer to pull the Pistons within 112-110 and VanVleet missed a 3 with 6.6 seconds left.

The game was tied at 55 going into the second half, but the Pistons started the third quarter with a 17-6 run that included 14 points from Knox and Stewart.

Houston answered with a 12-2 run that brought them within 91-88 at the end of the third. VanVleet had five points and five assists in the period.


Rockets: Visit the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.

Pistons: Visit the Washington Wizards on Monday.