Monday night at Toyota Center, the Rockets went into the locker room at halftime trailing by a dozen. They shot less than 39 percent and hit just 2-of-17 from long distance, but Eric Gordon led a third quarter outburst giving the Rockets the lead in a 101-91 win over the Washington Wizards.
Gordon scored 12 of his 31 points in the third quarter when the Rockets outscored Washington 37-17. Houston shot 72 percent from the field and knocked down 7-of-10 from behind the 3-point line. Houston’s first lead of the night came when James Harden found a cutting Nene with 2:45 left in the period to make it 67-66. Part of a 16-4 run that gave the Rockets a 78-70 lead going into the fourth, but Washington tightened things up.
With half the quarter gone by, the Wizards cut the lead in half despite scoring just eight points, but with 4:48 to play, Markieff Morris tied the game with a layup. He was fouled on the play, only to miss the free throw, and Gordon gave the Rockets the lead again with a three, and they led the rest of the way, closing the night with a 19-9 run.
Gordon 22 points in the second half. He shot 11-of-18 from the field, knocking down half of his 12 shots from behind the 3-point line.
Harden finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists giving him his third triple-double in as many games, the first player in Rockets history to accomplish that. He only shots 6-of-24 from the field, 2-of-11 from long distance, but did knock down 9-of-10 free throws.
As a team, the Rockets shot just 31 percent on 39 three-point attempts as they improve to 27-9 on the season after winning for the fifth straight game.
Washington falls to 16-17 after having a chance to get over .500 for the first time all season.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting. John Wall finished with 18 points and 12 assists.