VanVleet’s Clutch Heroics Secure Rockets Win Over Pistons

Fred VanVleet, Houston Rockets, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

Fred VanVleet’s pivotal performance in the second half, highlighted by eight crucial points in the fourth quarter, led the Houston Rockets to a narrow 112-110 victory over the Detroit Pistons during Friday night’s NBA action.

This loss adds to Detroit’s struggles, marking their seventh consecutive defeat in a season where they’ve only managed one win since a 2-1 start, including a 28-game losing streak that ties an NBA record.

The game’s climax saw Detroit’s Jaden Ivey narrowly miss a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds. Rockets coach Ime Udoka acknowledged the fortune in their win, stating it felt like they had stolen the game.

“We got a little bit lucky,” Udoka said. “We’ll take it, but it feels like we stole one.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Fred VanVleet, Jalen Green, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons Updates

The Pistons, who were missing their top scorers, Cunningham and Bogdanovic, saw Alec Burks and Kevin Knox II step up with 19 points each. Pistons coach Monty Williams reflected on the tough loss, emphasizing the challenges faced without key players.

“My mentor always told me that life’s not fair, and you shouldn’t expect it to be,” Williams said. “As hard as our guys played with Cade and Bojan, that was a moment where you just say ‘oh, come on.’ That’s a cruel way to lose.”

Houston’s Alperen Sengun scored 29 points, while Jalen Green contributed 28, helping the team break their two-game losing streak. VanVleet, who finished with 20 points and 12 assists, was critical of the team’s effort despite the win.

“I don’t think we played hard,” Sengun said.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Fred VanVleet, Jalen Green, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons Updates

Isaiah Stewart, back for the Pistons after being out since late December, added 16 points and seven rebounds, expressing his views on the team’s competitive spirit but acknowledging they allowed Houston to take good shots late in the game.

“I thought we did a good job of competing, but we let them get some good shots up down the stretch,” Stewart said.

Detroit initially took a 103-98 lead with less than six minutes remaining, but Houston bounced back with VanVleet’s key plays, including a 3-pointer and a short jumper that turned the game in their favor. Stewart praised VanVleet’s ability to make decisive shots in the game’s closing moments.

“VanVleet is the kind of guy who can hit all those shots at the end of a game,” Stewart said. “It’s frustrating, because we let him get the looks he needed.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Fred VanVleet, Jalen Green, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons Updates

The game was tied at halftime, but Detroit surged ahead in the third quarter with a significant run, only for Houston to close the gap by the end of the quarter.

An injury concern arose for Houston’s Jeff Green, who left the game in the third quarter due to a knee collision, although Udoka mentioned he could have continued playing.

Looking forward, the Rockets will face Boston on Saturday night, while the Pistons have a game against Washington scheduled for Monday.

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