NBA regular season

John Wall leads Rockets to win over ex-team Wizards

John Wall leads Rockets to win over ex-team Wizards

LEADER. Rockets guard John Wall reacts after making a three-point basket against the Wizards in the final quarter.

Photo by Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

John Wall, traded for Russell Westbrook in the offseason, gets the better of his former team

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 3 games with a 107-88 victory over the shorthanded Washington Wizards on Tuesday, January 26 (Wednesday, January 27, Philippine time).

Wall added 5 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 three-pointer, while Wall contributed a three-point play and a short hook shot.

DeMarcus Cousins tallied 19 points, 11 rebounds and 5 steals for Houston, which played without center Christian Wood yet welcomed back forward Danuel House Jr, out since January 2. 

David Nwaba had 11 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals off the Houston bench.

Bradley Beal, the league’s leading scorer, tallied 33 points on 12-of-28 shooting for the Wizards, while Russell Westbrook, traded for Wall this past offseason, added 19 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists. 

The Wizards were missing 6 players due to league health and safety protocols.

The Wizards held the Rockets scoreless for more than 4 minutes during a ragged 3rd quarter but proved unable to take advantage. When Cousins drilled a triple with 5:18 left in the period, the Rockets had just their second field goal in the 3rd quarter 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 6 lead changes. But Nwaba beat the buzzer with a second-chance basket and Houston carried a 75-70 lead into the 4th.

Wall and Oladipo took over from there. Wall, making his first appearance against the team that drafted him first overall in 2010, scored 7 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 three-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 4.

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. –

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