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Detroit Pistons at Houston Rockets

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Detroit Pistons (22-19) vs. Houston Rockets (22-21)
When: 8 p.m.
Where: Toyota Center.

These two teams have similar records and are both the seventh seeds in their respective conferences, but have taken different routes to get there. The Pistons are trying to end the longest playoff drought in the Eastern Conference and are taking their lumps (Monday’s loss to Chicago) while making an impact on the national scene (Saturday’s win over Golden State). The Rockets were in the Western Conference finals a season ago, but stumbled out of the gate and head coach Kevin McHale paid for it with his job. James Harden, Dwight Howard and crew have since rebounded.

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The 140 points scored by the Clippers on Monday were the most the Rockets have allowed since the Mavericks scored 156 in April, 1995. … The Rockets are 6-9 against Eastern Conference teams after going 23-7 last season. … After scoring a season-low 77 points against the Cavaliers, the Rockets averaged 122 in back-to-back games against the Lakers and Clippers. … Guard Pat Beverley left Monday’s game with soreness in his sprained left ankle. He had sat out Sunday against the Lakers and missed the only two shots he took against the Clippers. … The Rockets trailed by 28 points against the Pistons in November, cutting the lead to as few as four points before the Pistons pulled away for a 116-105 win.

The Pistons have lost 3 of their past 4 games and are 8-12 on the road. … They rank 28th in field goal percentage and 30th in free throw percentage. … The Pistons are ninth in defensive rating, allowing 100.3 points per 100 possessions. … The Pistons starting lineup — Ersan Ilyasova, Marcus Morris, Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Jackson — has played nearly 300 minutes more together than any starting lineup in the NBA. Every starter is averaging in double figures.

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