James Harden notched a triple-double in the closing seconds as the Rockets put the pedal to the metal in the second half and beat the Wizards, 101-91. Bradley Beal was the high-scorer for the Wizards with 27 points including five three-pointers. And John Wall got another double-double with 18 points and 12 assists. The Wizards bench was a non-factor tonight while Houston’s, mainly Eric Gordon, was nearly unstoppable.
The Wizards were very impressive to start this one and raced out to a 23-10 lead forcing Mike D’Antoini to use some early timeouts. The Wizards shot 59 percent in the first quarter and held the Rockets to a season-low 14 points in the period as the Wizards led 29-14.
After a 10-2 run from the Rockets, the Wizards regained the momentum with a 8-0 run of their own orchestrated by the bench. Trey Burke found Jason Smith who’d guide through the lane for a dunk as the Wizards stretched the lead out to 15, 39-24.
John Wall was doing John Wall things in the second quarter highlighted by this pass to Marcin Gortat between his legs for a dunk.
The Wizards shot just 2-13 from three-point range but led 53-41 after an impressive first half effort.
That all changed in the third quarter as the Rockets, behind Gordon, caught fire. Eric Gordon would knock down four three-pointers in the quarter as the Rockets outscored the Wizards 37-17.
Markieff Morris was able to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter on a drive to the hole for the basket and the foul. But Gordon and Harden would knock down timely threes as the Rockets pull away and win, 101-91.
Tale of two halves
The Wizards looked great in the first half. Washington was very active on the defensive end, was getting out in transition, and played pretty good three-point defense on the Rockets. The second half was not so great. The bench wasn’t as productive for the Wizards while Houston’s bench was. Former Wizard, Nene, even had nine points against his former team.
Wizards were a bit out of character
The Wizards attempted 26 three-pointers tonight and only connected on six of them (Beal with 5, Thornton with one). There were times in this game, especially in the second half, where the Wizards were baited into playing the Rockets game. Fast pace and jacking up a ton of three-pointers. The Wizards like to play fast and shoot threes but 26 is a bit out of character, especially on a night when they aren’t falling. Once the Wizards starting jacking up three-pointers and missing, that sparked several runs for the Rockets.