John Wall scored a team-high 24 points and Eric Gordon and Victor Oladipo added 20 apiece as the host Houston Rockets extended their season-best winning streak to three games with a 107-88 victory over the short-handed Washington Wizards on Tuesday.
Wall added five assists and combined with Oladipo to fuel a 10-0 fourth-quarter run that pushed the Rockets to a 93-79 lead. Oladipo sandwiched the rally with a 10-footer and a 3-pointer, while Wall contributed a three-point play and a short hook shot.
DeMarcus Cousins tallied 19 points, 11 rebounds and five steals for Houston, which played without center Christian Wood yet welcomed back forward Danuel House Jr., out since Jan. 2. David Nwaba had 11 points, nine rebounds and two steals off the Houston bench.
Bradley Beal, the league’s leading scorer, tallied 33 points on 12-of-28 shooting, while Russell Westbrook, traded for Wall this past offseason, added 19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. The Wizards were missing six players due to league health and safety protocols.
The Wizards held the Rockets scoreless for more than four minutes during a ragged third quarter but proved unable to take advantage. When Cousins drilled a 3 with 5:18 left in the period, the Rockets had just their second field goal in the third yet led 61-56.
Suddenly, the Wizards found a bit of life with a 6-0 run, igniting an unexpected back and forth that featured six lead changes. But Nwaba beat the buzzer with a second-chance basket and Houston carried a 75-70 lead into the fourth.
Wall and Oladipo took over from there. Wall, making his first appearance against the team that drafted him first overall in 2010, scored seven points in the opening quarter. The Wizards offset that individual effort by making 13 of 27 shots and posting a plus-seven rebounding advantage while carrying a 29-26 lead into the second.
But Nwaba hit a 3-pointer at the end of the first and it provided a spark, as Houston reeled off a 14-4 run to build a cushion. A Wall dunk lifted the Rockets to a 40-33 lead at the 7:42 mark, but the Wizards responded with a 10-4 spurt and, by the close of the half, sliced the deficit to four.
Washington made hay on the glass, converting 10 offensive boards into 14 second-chance points to help negate the 11 turnovers that Houston converted into 13 points.