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Howard dominates, Rockets victorious over Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan -- Dwight Howard had 35 points and 19 rebounds, leading the short-handed Houston Rockets to a 114-97 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.

In one of his best games since joining the Rockets in the offseason, Howard dominated Andre Drummond, Detroit's promising 20-year-old big man, and helped Houston control the game despite the absence of star guard James Harden, who was out with a sprained right ankle.

The Rockets also were without Jeremy Lin, who has been bothered by back spasms, and they lost guard Patrick Beverley to a fractured right hand.

Josh Smith scored 19 points for the Pistons.

It was the most points Howard has scored as a member of the Rockets. He went 13 of 18 from the field.

Grizzlies 95, Knicks 87 Zach Randolph had 25 points and 15 rebounds to help Memphis break a five-game losing streak with a victory over New York.

Tony Allen added 19 points and eight rebounds. Jerryd Bayless scored 11 points, including two free throws to end a New York flurry that had trimmed a 19-point deficit to four in the final half-minute.

Mike Conley finished with nine points and eight assists after missing two games with a bruised left thigh.

Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points for the Knicks.

Wizards 106, Celtics 99 Trevor Ariza scored 27 points and hit a 3-pointer that capped a fourth-quarter run in Washington's comeback victory over Boston.

With Washington trailing 92-84, Ariza started a 14-1 run with a jumper from the right corner. John Wall had five of his 20 points in the surge.

Avery Bradley led Boston with 26 points.

Kings 105, Magic 100 Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas each scored 23 points, Marcus Thornton added 15, and Sacramento held off Orlando for the victory.

DeMarcus Cousins added 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The Kings connected on a season-high 12 3-pointers in the victory, helping to end a three-game losing streak.

Arron Afflalo led Orlando with 26 points in his return to the lineup after sitting out for the first time this season Wednesday with an illness. The Magic have lost four out of their last five, and four straight at home.

Jazz 88, Bobcats 85 Trey Burke scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and Utah ended Charlotte's three-game winning streak.

Burke hit a 3-pointer with 1:38 left to put the Jazz up by three and added a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining.

Gordon Hayward had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, which had lost three of their past four games. Derrick Favors added 14 points.

Kemba Walker scored 20 points and Al Jefferson had 19 for the Bobcats, who were playing their fourth game in five nights.

At halftime, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan unveiled the team's new primary logo for when the team changes names to the Charlotte Hornets after this season.

Thunder 113, Spurs 100 Russell Westbrook had 31 points and Oklahoma City used a strong second quarter to beat San Antonio for its ninth straight victory.

Reggie Jackson had 21 points, Kevin Durant added 17 and Serge Ibaka had 14 points and 14 rebounds for Oklahoma City.

Tony Parker scored 23 points, and Marco Belinelli and Tim Duncan had 17 points apiece for San Antonio, which took only its second home loss.

The Spurs had won six of seven entering Saturday's game.

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Denver Nuggets guard Randy Foye #4 shoots with Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin #32, defending during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Saturday, Dec. 21. (AP)

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