HOUSTON (AP) -- James Harden scored 20 points, Omer Asik had 14 and the Houston Rockets beat the winless Detroit Pistons 96-82 on Saturday night in their first game without coach Kevin McHale.
The team announced earlier Saturday that McHale was taking an immediate leave of absence to deal with a family matter.
Assistant coach Kelvin Sampson took over for McHale, and said before the game that he hoped the team would come together to win for McHale.
The Rockets did just that, using a third-quarter run to build a big lead and break a three-game losing streak with their first victory at home. The Pistons fell to 0-7.
Brandon Knight scored 16 points for Detroit and Greg Monroe added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Detroit scored five quick points to get within four midway through the third quarter. The Rockets responded with an 11-2 spurt highlighted by six points from Harden to make it 69-56 with less than four minutes left in the period.
Harden was fouled on a layup he made after a ni...