The team announced earlier Saturday that McHale was taking an immediate leave of absence to deal with a family matter. Assistant Kelvin Sampson took over, and said before the game he hoped the team would come together to win for McHale.
The Rockets did just that, using a third-quarter run to build a big lead and break a three-game losing streak with their first victory at home.
The Pistons fell to 0-7. Brandon Knight scored 16 points, and Greg Monroe added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Marcus Morris added 12 points for Houston and Toney Douglas had 11. Jeremy Lin helped out with seven points, eight assists and four rebounds.
BOBCATS 101, MAVERICKS 97, OT
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a career-high 25 points and 12 rebounds to help the Bobcats snap a 16-game losing streak against the Mavericks.
Kidd-Gilchrist was 8 of 12 from the field and had a pair of key offensive rebounds off missed foul shots late in the game.
Kemba Walker added 26 points and seven assists for Charlotte and Ramon Sessions made some big shots down the stretch and in overtime, finishing with 12 points.
Dallas lost for the second straight night on the road after a 3-0 start.
O.J. Mayo scored 22 points and Vince Carter had 19 points for the Mavericks. Carter, who was 5 for 8 from 3-point range, missed an opportunity to win the game at the end of regulation when his fallaway jumper was short.
SPURS 112, TRAIL BLAZERS 109
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gary Neal had 27 points for the Spurs, and Manu Ginobili hit two big free throws in the final seconds.
The Blazers made four straight 3-pointers to tie it at 109 with 40.5 seconds left, but Portland stumbled from there and was saddled with its third consecutive loss. Nicolas Batum had a career-high 33 points.
Tim Duncan added 22 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs, who snapped a seven-game losing streak at the Rose Garden.
San Antonio played without Tony Parker because of a flu bug that has been making its way around the team. Patty Mills started in his place.
The Spurs trailed by as many as 14 points in the third quarter but opened the final period with a 14-0 run to go up 87-79.
NUGGETS 101, WARRIORS 101, 2OT
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Danilo Gallinari scored five of his 21 points in the final 36 seconds and Denver closed with an 11-0 run to beat Golden State in double overtime.
Andre Iguodala added a pair of late free throws and the Nuggets, who didn't arrive in the Bay Area until 3:30 a.m. following a late flight from Utah, held on for their fourth consecutive victory after opening the season 0-3.
Kenneth Faried added 18 points and 17 rebounds, while Iguodala had 19 points for Denver.
Klay Thompson led Golden State with 23 points, but the second-year guard missed a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left. Carl Landry added 22 points and nine rebounds off the bench, but the Warriors went scoreless over the final 2:47.
PACERS 89, WIZARDS 85
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Paul George scored 20 points and Indiana stopped a three-game slide.
Roy Hibbert added seven points, 12 rebounds and two blocks for the Pacers (3-4). Gerald Green had 15 points and Lance Stephenson scored 12 in his first start of the season.
Washington carried a 72-70 lead into the fourth quarter, and Jordan Crawford promptly made a 3-pointer to extend the lead to five. But the Pacers then grabbed control with a 10-0 run.
Emeka Okafor and Bradley Beal had 17 points apiece for the Wizards (0-5), and A.J. Price finished with 12 points and 14 assists.
BULLS 87, TIMBERWOLVES 80
CHICAGO (AP) — Nate Robinson scored 18 points and the Bulls ended the Timberwolves' three-game winning streak.
Chicago lost starting point guard Kirk Hinrich to a right hip strain in the second quarter, and Robinson helped pick up the slack by playing 31 minutes.
Joakim Noah added 17 points and seven rebounds and Luol Deng had 16 points and seven boards for the Bulls (4-2). Chicago beat Minnesota for the sixth straight time.
Nikola Pekovic led the short-handed Timberwolves (4-2) with 18 points and eight rebounds. Andrei Kirilenko added 11 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
The Timberwolves had just 11 players available. Ricky Rubio (left knee surgery) and Kevin Love (fractured right hand) have been out all season. J.J. Barea missed his second straight game with a sprained left foot, while Brandon Roy missed his first game of the season with a sore knee.
JAZZ 94, SUNS 81
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Al Jefferson had 27 points and 14 rebounds, and Utah held on for the win.
Michael Beasley's follow dunk after a Jazz turnover cut Utah's lead to 79-74 with about 5 minutes remaining.
But Jefferson's steal and a 19-footer by Paul Millsap halted a nearly 6-minute scoreless streak for the Jazz and started a 7-0 run, capped by Marvin Williams' 3-pointer.
Millsap added 18 points and 13 rebounds for Utah.
Luis Scola led the Suns with 21 points and Jared Dudley scored 16.
The Suns were down 22 points with 2:45 remaining in the third, but opened the fourth with a 9-2 run to close to 79-70 on Sebastian Telfair's driving layup with 9:24 left.
76ERS 93, RAPTORS 83
TORONTO (AP) — Thaddeus Young, Jrue Holiday and Nick Young scored 16 points apiece, helping the 76ers pick up another road win.
Spencer Hawes had 12 points and 11 rebounds, Dorell Wright added 15 points and Philadelphia won its third straight, with all three victories on the road. It's the first time the 76ers have done that since February 2003.
The Sixers, who won 106-100 at Boston on Friday night, knocked off another Atlantic Division opponent thanks to a huge second quarter that saw them turn a six-point deficit into a 19-point lead.
Andrea Bargnani led Toronto with 23 points, while DeMar DeRozan had 19. Jose Calderon had 14 points and 11 assists, but the Raptors lost their third straight.
CELTICS 96, BUCKS 92
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Paul Pierce scored 25 points, Kevin Garnett added 18 and the Celtics rallied for the victory.
Boston (3-3) got even with the Bucks after Milwaukee knocked off the Celtics 99-88 in Boston on Nov. 2.
Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 32 points, while Samuel Dalembert added 14 points and eight rebounds.
Rajon Rondo had 10 points and 10 assists for the Celtics, giving him 30 straight games with 10 or more assists, the third-longest streak in NBA history. Magic Johnson has the longest streak at 46 games from April 1983 to February 1984.