On Wednesday night at Toyota Center, the Rockets extended their winning steak to 7 games by beating the Washington Wizards 113-112. It wasn’t easy though it looked like it would a few times during the game.
After a quarter, the Rockets led by 12. That lead was cut to nine at halftime, but the Rockets were able to grow it to 19 with 3:32 left in the third quarter, but the Wizards closed the period with a 20-4 run, making it a three point game heading into the final 12 minutes.
Houston was able to maintain the lead for most of the quarter, but a John Wall layup with 2:21 left to play gave the Wizards their first lead of the night. With the game tied at 110, Wall knocked down two free throws to give Washington a two-point lead, but the Rockets weren’t dead.
The Rockets got the ball back after the free throws, but before the ball was inbounded, Trevor Ariza was called for an “away from the ball” foul, which awarded the Rockets a free throw and the ball. Harden made the free throw, and then got to the rim and finished a layup with .7 seconds left. Kevin desperation 21-footer was long, clinching the win for the Rockets.
Harden was the game’s high scorer with 35 points; he had 23 at halftime and made all 16 of his free throws. Dwight Howard added 24 points and 16 rebounds. He added seven turnovers, and as a team, the Rockets turned it over 26 times, to just nine for Washington.
Along with the turnovers, the Rockets were able to survive a three-point barrage by Ariza. He scored 32 points, knocking down 10 treys, the most ever made by a Rockets opponent. At one point he made seven in a row. Wall added 19 points and 14 assists.
The Rockets head into the All Star break with a 36-17 record, which has them tied for third in the Western Conference.
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