Houston (CBS HOUSTON) –Just when the Rockets reel the believers back in, they revert right back to a .500 team.
The Wizards came into the Toyota Center on Saturday and frustrated Houston while having their way offensively en route to a last-second 123-122 win.
James Harden missed a shot on the Rockets final possession, a sour end to an otherwise prolific night for the star guard.
The Rockets are now 25-25 and losers of three straight after a brutal week. The elation from Josh Smith’s addition last week was short-lived, and they’ve looked every bit the mercurial bunch they were through the season’s first half.
Harden’s double-double was for naught, as he produced 40 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. He narrowly missed a fourth straight home game with a triple-double.
John Wall powered the Wizards with 19 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds on an off shooting night, while Ramon Sessions added 17 points off the bench.
Dwight Howard was ejected from a second straight game, this time on a second technical foul after swatting an official’s hand away following a foul call early in the fourth quarter. The Rockets trailed by four at the time but went on an 18-8 run to nab a six-point lead with three minutes left.
But Washington could not be stopped all night and the final minutes were no different. Eight Wizards scored in double figures, and they shot 53 percent as a team.
Howard was brilliant outside of the technicals, posting a 20-point, seven-rebound effort in 28 minutes. It was just his third game back after an ankle issue sidelined him last week.
Trevor Ariza added 17 points for Houston, which welcomes Miami on Tuesday.