Notebook: Wizards 105, Rockets 103



Posted Feb 24, 2013 12:02 AM

Benjamin Standig, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Bradley Beal scored 21 points, Emeka Okafor had 17 points, 11 rebounds and the go-ahead free throw with 5.2 seconds remaining as the Washington Wizards overcame a torrent of 3-pointers by the Houston Rockets for a 105-103 victory.

Trevor Ariza had 18 points, and John Wall had 12 points and 11 assists for the Wizards (17-37), who trailed by 17 points in the first half, but rallied behind their interior muscle.

James Harden scored 27 points and Chandler Parsons had 24 points and five of the Rockets' 19 3-pointers. Houston (31-27) attempted 46 3-pointers, the most by any NBA team this season.

Trailing 94-88 with 6:21 remaining, the Wizards pulled ahead with a 7-0 run, one of six lead changes in the final 4:58. Wall's two free throws with 1:13 remaining broke a 101-101 tie with, but Harden's countering layup tied the score with 21.4 seconds.

Fouled after receiving a pass inside, Okafor made his first free throw attempt, but missed the second. The 6-foot-4 Beal grabbed the rebound and made one of two free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining. Harden's half court attempt was blocked by Ariza as the Wizards won their second straight game while snapping the Rockets two-game winning streak.

QUOTABLE: "We just wanted to make it tough, make them make contested shots. In the first half, they weren't missing. Second half we kind of got into more defensively, changed some of our game plans up and just executed on the other half."
-- Wall, on the Wizards adjustments in the second half


THE STAT: While the Rockets scored 57 points from beyond the arc, the Wizards tallied 54 in the paint, shooting 63.6 percent from the floor in the second half. Washington's starting frontcourt of Okafor, Nene and Martell Webster (12 points) finished a combined 16 of 32 overall.

QUOTABLE II: " "They went inside a little bit more. Okafor got the ball a little bit more. But really we had turnovers. We had empty possessions. We had possessions where we didn't move the ball. We just got stagnant ... we did not have a good second half."

-- Rockets coach Kevin McHale after his team surrendered 119 points for the second straight road game.

HOT: Ariza, who also took on the role of guarding the All-Star Harden in the fourth quarter, scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half, making 6-of-8 shots. The Wizards small forward also doled out a season-high six assists.

NOT: Jeremy Lin missed seven of nine shots and finished with five points in 26 minutes. McHale said he attempted to limit the point guard's playing time because he was under the weather.

QUOTABLE III: " We just step up to the challenge. We executed the game plan the coaches came up with and down the stretch, we're not our old selves. You see us. We grew up.
-- Wizards forward Chris Singleton, on Washington's 11-4 record against teams with winning records since Jan. 7 .

GOOD MOVE: With the Rockets using a small-ball lineup filled with shooters, the Wizards initially tried matching with comparable sized players. In the second half, Wizards coach Randy Wittman stayed with his big men - Okafor and Nene. With the game tied in the waning seconds, Washington looked inside for the 6-foot-10 Okafor, who had a four-inch height advantage over Carlos Delfino. The double-team came, but the Wizards' center drew the foul.

NOTABLE: Rockets guard Patrick Beverley made three 3-pointers and scored a career-high 15 points. Delfino sank four from beyond the arc and had 12 points. ...Veteran center Jason Collins, acquired by the Wizards on Thursday in a trade deadline for Jordan Crawford, joined the team but was inactive for the game. ...Though Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt were acquired from the Kings on Tuesday, the trio has not been cleared to play for the Rockets.

UP NEXT: For the Rockets, Wednesday vs. Bucks, Friday @ Magic, March 3 vs. Dallas... For the Wizards...Monday @ Raptors, Wednesday vs. Pistons.