By: Jeremy Hyman
In what certainly could be classified as the strangest game of the season, which included two separate leak delays, the Wizards fell 114-107 to the Rockets back on January 11th at Verizon Center. The Wizards overcame a 25 point deficit to come back and take a fourth quarter lead, but the Rockets would close the game on a 17-5 run to win the game. John Wall went for 23 points and 10 assists, while Trevor Ariza had 23 points and 14 boards. Full Recap
Final Game Before Break - Tonight is one of those "danger" games for the Wizards and they'll need to avoid the temptation to look ahead to the upcoming All-Star break. They'll need to bring out their "A" effort to have a chance to upset the streaking Rockets at home. They are playing the second night of a back-to-back against a Rockets team that has won six in a row. But, sometimes when the odds are against them, the Wizards play their best basketball, so that will be the hope as they close out the pseudo first half tonight at Toyota Center.
Red Hot Rockets - The Rockets are the hottest team in the Western Conference right now, winners of six straight and eight of their last ten. Since they beat the Wizards back on January 11th, they've only lost three games to two different teams (Oklahoma City, Memphis twice) and have one of the most high-powered and dangerous offenses in the league. They love to play at a high pace, shoot a lot of three-pointers, and can score in bunches, as the Wizards learned in their last meeting.
Wizards - Bradley Beal scored a career-high 37 points in a loss to the Grizzlies last night on 15/24 shooting.
Rockets - Dwight Howard has recorded double-doubles in three straight games and is averaging close to 25 points per game over his last six.
Three-point shooting - No team in the league shoots more three-pointers than the Houston Rockets. They average 25.9 three-point attempts per game, but shoot just 34.8 % as a team, which is 22nd in the NBA. The Wizards rank 6th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage at 37.6 %, while averaging 20.5 attempts per game. Tonight could be a shootout and whichever team can make their three-pointers could be the one that wins.
The action kicks off at 8:00pm at Toyota Center.
For his first 3.5 years in the league, Marcin Gortat spent his time backing up Dwight Howard in Orlando. Gortat played just 20 minutes in the last #WizRockets game in January, but helped limit Howard to just seven rebounds, though he did finish with 23 points. It will likely be a combination of Gortat, Seraphin, and Nene who will have to limit a hot Dwight Howard tonight to give the Wizards a chance to upset the Rockets.
Gortat's 3-point play