Isiah Thomas scored 24 points Tuesday night and the NBA defending champion Detroit Pistons completed their exhibition season with a 113-104 victory over the Houston Rockets in the Basketball Hall of Fame Game.
The 18th annual contest at the birthplace of basketball also completes the NBA pre-season schedule. Dr. James Naismith invented the sport here in 1891.Houston led 52-49 at halftime but Detroit exploded for 42 points in the third quarter while limiting the Rockets to just 20.
For Detroit, Mark Aguirre scored 19 points and Vinnie Johnson came off the bench to score 18.
Houston was paced by Akeem Olajuwon's 23 points and 10 rebounds. Otis Thorpe contributed 18 points and Kenny Smith added 17.
Announced at halftime were the 12 nominees for the Hall of Fame. Among the candidates are former NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien, who died in September, former Boston Celtics center Dave Cowens and Indiana coach Bob Knight.
In Friday's regular-season openers, Detroit hosts the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston meets the Trailblazers in Portland.