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      Howard, Rockets blast past Pistons

      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.