The Wizards lost to the Rockets on Monday, 101-91 on the road after a disastrous third quarter when they allowed Houston to score 37 points in the third quarter while scoring just 38 points in the second half themselves. The loss gets the Wizards back to sub .500 territory with a 16-17 record, while the Rockets improve to 27-9 and remain in striking distance of the Spurs and Warriors for Western Conference supremacy.
For the Wizards, John Wall had his double double with 19 points and 12 assists, while Marcin Gortat scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Bradley Beal led their scorers with 27.
And for the Rockets, they won this game, but it wasn’t their best performance either. James Harden managed to get his third straight triple-double with a 23 point, 10 rebound, and 10 assist performance, but the key player (and “Wiz Killer”) tonight was Eric Gordon who scored 31 points on 11 of 18 shooting off the bench.
Let’s get to the two main takeaways from this game:
The third quarter spelled Washington’s demise
As mentioned before, the Rockets didn’t have their best offensive performance in the whole game. But their third quarter was sensational, and the Wizards’ offense was just as awful. That turned a 12 point lead to start the half into an eight point deficit to start the last quarter.
Harden started the third quarter with just six points on 2 of 11 shooting. He willed his way to 10 points, while Gordon scored 12 points in just six minutes of the period. The Wizards’ three point defense hasn’t been good to say the least, and it was awful at the worst time in this game. They allowed Houston to make 7 of 10 threes, with Gordon and Trevor Ariza making five of them. To add insult to injury, former Wizard Nene scored six points on 3 of 3 shooting and gave Houston their first lead of the game.
The Wizards will regret losing on a night when the Rockets were off
This is one of those games that the Wizards should have won, if they could have at least kept their offense running at an average level in the third quarter.
The Rockets came into this game with the third best offense in the league. They also average the most points per game so far this season at 114.9 points per game. The Wizards held them to 101, but it should have been a lot lower than that. The bottom line is that Houston came out cold in this game, but Washington didn’t keep Houston in check during the third quarter, and there were some missed shots in the first half that could have expanded their lead even more.
The Wizards play the Dallas Mavericks on the road tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. ET. Dallas had their poorest start in years, so this should be an “easier” game to win. But I wouldn’t bet the house on it.