In a battle-tested road game where there were countless lead changes, the Houston Rockets were able to squeeze out a 159-158 victory against the Washington Wizards.
The Houston Rockets started off their six-game road trip with a match-up against the Washington Wizards at the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. Despite the Wizards playing without star guard John Wall, who is out for the year, the Rockets needed every second on the clock to steal this game. Not only that, the Rockets needed the brilliance of James Harden, who entered the game averaging 29.3 points on 27 percent from the field and a measly 15 percent from deep.
It was only going to be a matter of time before Harden got rolling, and he did it in a major way against the Wizards, as he posted an NBA-best 59 points on a blistering 56.3 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from deep. Aside from the 59 points, he also added nine assists, which was second on the Rockets behind only Russell Westbrook. Speaking of Westbrook, he had a triple-double, as he posted 17 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, and came up big down the stretch in the second half.
The Rockets set a franchise-record with 159 points, and they needed every bit of it as Bradley Beal and the Wizards had a counter for every basket the Rockets scored. Beal had 46 points on 70 percent from the field and 58 percent from deep, while also shooting 91.7 percent from the free-throw line. The Rockets have still been unable to adapt to life without former defensive coordinator Jeff Bzdelik, as they allowed 158 points to Washington, and are now allowing an average of 127.5 points per game, which is 20th in the league.
It goes without saying that anytime you give up 158 points, it’s usually very difficult to win, especially on the road, but the Wizards had no answer for Harden and Westbrook in the fourth quarter, as the duo combined for 31 points compared to Beal’s 14 points.
The Rockets obviously have no problem scoring points, but if they plan on winning the Western Conference, they’ll need to be much better on the defensive side of the floor, because nights like this from Harden won’t happen too often, especially in the playoffs.
Here is a breakdown of how every Rocket performed on the eve of Halloween!
Next: The Starters