Howard had just eight points and eight rebounds.
Pistons top Wizards
Greg Monroe had 18 points and seven rebounds, Rodney Stuckey scored 15 points in his return from injury, and Ben Wallace made five key free throws down the stretch as the Detroit Pistons beat the Washington Wizards, 99-94, in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Even with Monroe playing well, Pistons coach Lawrence Frank went with the 37-year-old Wallace down the stretch to help stop John Wall.
The Wizards were missing Nene and Trevor Booker with foot injuries, but rallied from a 20-point deficit to pull within five late in the game. Wall finished with 28 points and 10 assists.
Rose out against Boston
Derrick Rose missed the Chicago Bulls' home game against the Boston Celtics because of a strained groin, the 12th consecutive game he has missed because of the injury.
Chicago has been without Rose for 22 games this season. The Bulls (42-13) are 7-4 during the latest stretch, losing the last two for their first two-game skid of the season.
Rose, who was a game-time decision, practiced Wednesday. He was optimistic that he would be able to play against the Knicks on Sunday.
C.J. Watson started at point guard in place of Rose.
In another move, the Bulls signed veteran guard Mike James for the remainder of the season.
- Associated Press