Houston (57-14) maintained their four-game lead over Golden State for the top seed in the Western Conference and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs by ending Portland's 13-game winning streak with a 115-111 road victory Tuesday night.
James Harden further burnished his MVP credentials with 42 points and seven assists while hitting five of seven from 3-point range. Chris Paul also made five treys as the Rockets shot 19 of 36 from beyond the arc en route to their sixth straight win and 30th in their last 33 games overall.
Paul, though, may sit this game out after tweaking his left hamstring late in the victory. If he is unable to go, Eric Gordon would move into the two guard spot and Harden would facilitate the offense more.
The Rockets now have a chance to match the 1993/94 team for most wins in a season with 58, a squad led by Hakeem Olajuwon and Kenny Smith that won the first of back-to-back NBA Finals.
It may be a case of too little, too late for Detroit (32-39), who are looking for a third straight victory that would also salvage a split of their six-game road swing. The Pistons routed Phoenix 115-88 on Tuesday night as Blake Griffin finished one rebound shy of a triple-double and scored 26 points.
Stanley Johnson recorded five steals as the Pistons scored 13 points off 19 Suns turnovers and outscored them 22-5 in transition. Detroit, though, were 5.5 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 11 games left when play started Wednesday night.