Wizards thrive under Chaos

By:Ryan Fowler

Headline Graphic Credit:Darrell Owens-LMS Network

WASHINGTON—Amid clashes between players and coaches, trade rumors, ad backlash from fans, the Wizards seem to thrive when bedlam hits.

Bradley Beal said he “couldn’t have imagined” allowing the opposing starting guards to combine for 90 points and still get a victory.

”Not at all. It’s amazing we pulled it off still,” Beal said. John Wall scored a season-high 36 points, including six in overtime, as Washington overcame James Harden’s season-best 54 points to outlast the Houston Rockets 135-131 on Monday night.

Harden, the NBA’s leading scorer, also had 13 assists, while Eric Gordon his sharpshooting backcourt partner added a season-high 36 points in which he hit 8 from behind the arc. For the Wizards, Wall had two baskets in the extra period and finished with 11 assists. Bradley Beal equaled his season high with 32 points for the Wizards.

Otto Porter hit a floater with 4:37 to play for the first basket in overtime and the Wizards too control from there. Wall followed with a jumper to make it 129-125 and later made another that pushed the lead to five. Beal’s dunk extended it to 133-126 with 1:50 to play.

Harden had 44 points through three quarters but missed five of his seven shots in the fourth. In overtime, Harden whose career high is 60, was 1 of 2 from the field and had two free throws. He had 11 turnovers, three in overtime, and 13 assists.

”It’s not even about myself,” Harden said. ”It’s about our entire team. We had a really good start to the game and kind of let our guard down.”

Harden started the fourth quarter on the bench, and scored six as the Wizards and Rockets headed to overtime with the score knotted at 125.

To the start the game, Houston raced to a 27-10 lead, but Washington clawed its way back. Markieff Morris had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards while Clint Capela had 17 points and 14 points for the short-handed Rockets, who played without Chris Paul for the second straight game and fell to 9-10.


Rockets: Paul was listed as being out with a sore left leg, though Coach Mike D’Antoni classified the injury differently. ”We’ve just got to make sure Chris gets 100 percent well from his strained hammy,” D’Antoni said. Houston added F Danuel House from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League prior to the game. Houston made their first seven 3-point shots, then missed 10 straight.

Wizards: C Dwight Howard was out for the fourth straight game with a glute injury. ”It’s a slow process,” coach Scott Brooks said. Morris, F Kelly Oubre Jr. and Beal all picked up technical in the contest…The Wizards allowed 42 points in the first quarter, the fifth time this year they’d given up at least 40… Wall passed Wes Unseld for third place on the franchise career scoring list.


D’Antoni knows he’s asking too much of Harden, who played a season-high 47 minutes.

”I mean, we’re asking, especially James, you know what? Play (47) minutes, make every play,” D’Antoni said. ”There are going to be periods where he’s just gassed.”


Rockets: Host the Mavericks on Wednesday

Wizards: Visit Pelicans on Wednesday; Washington plays six of its next seven on the road.