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Houston Rockets vs. Detroit Pistons game preview

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The Rockets head to Detroit and will try to compete against the Pistons' front line while being without Dwight Howard.

No Dwight? We got this!
No Dwight? We got this!
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

In the last two meetings in Detroit, the Rockets have had a superstar step up to win the game.

Two years ago, it was James Harden in his first game as Rocket. In that game, he showed us flashes of the MVP candidate he is today.

Last year, the Rockets went into Detroit on a back-to-back after getting crushed in Indiana the night before. Harden was out with an injury and Dwight Howard went supernova, notching 35/19/5/3 against the upstart Detroit front line.

Tonight, it will be Harden's turn to return the favor. It won't be easy with Detroit boasting two great big men in Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. Detroit is second in the league in rebounding and that makes the Rockets' frontcourt so important. The Pistons are without Brandon Jennings, but have three other advantages besides Houston being sans Howard.

First, Detroit hasn't played since Wednesday.

Second, Detroit's fans will be ecstatic to jeer Josh Smith and I expect the Palace at Auburn Hills to be rocking.

Third, the Pistons are coming off a loss to the Sixers. That's Rockets kryptonite. Actually, Houston has won its previous games against teams playing Houston after losing to Philadelphia. However, it's never been pretty and Detroit is a team that could finally make Houston pay for playing a team that just played the Sixers. I mean, how dare they!?

Tip-off is at 6:30pm CST.

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