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Wizards become defensive when it matters, James Harden and the Rockets survive overtime

The Washington Wizards rose defensively on Monday night and at times overcame a deficit that had endured them all year round, and picked up John Wall's clutch baskets, the Houston Rockets (135-131) in a raging finish in the Capital One Arena survived.

The Wizards took the lead at 127-125 for good, thanks to Otto Porter Jr.'s baby hook on their first overtime possession and survived a 54-point performance with 13 assistants of Rocket's Guard James Harden, the first 50-point game this season for the reigning NBA MVP.

Washington's lead extended to 133-126 when Porter stole a pass and threw an opening to a wide-open Bradley Beal for a 1:50 dive. The Wizards led four as Wall broke off an attack with 10.1 seconds on Harden. All defeated a second consecutive victory and the third victory in four games.

Wall topped the Wizards (8-12) with 36 points and 11 assists, and Beal had 32 points in 12-for-18 shooting. Washington shot 56.8 percent, up 29 points (37.9 percent) from the three-point area.

The Wizards restricted the missiles (9-10) to two field goals in extra time, forcing 19 envelopes, including eleven from Harden, against their heavily shortened opponent.

"We play harder. It's really easy, "said Wizards coach Scott Brooks. "There is no coach, there are no players who can not overcome playing hard. The bottom line is that for some reason we tried to figure out that we have to play harder. If you play hard, you have the chance to win. That's the easiest. "

Overtime became necessary after Wall had the ball in his hands in the last seconds of regulation, but posted a turnover that went up for the potential winning shot. P. J Tucker got the ball to steal, but after a Rocket break, Eric Gordon (36 points) failed to clear a shot before the buzzer.

Beal's three-pointer had moved the Wizards 1:23 minutes ahead of 124-123, and Porter added 1 of 2 free throws a minute later. But despite three three-point changes from Harden in the final minute, Houston reached the game at 125, when Clint Capela dropped a margin from Harden with 9.8 seconds remaining.

"Tonight we got some distractions and steals in our hands to round out the game," said Porter.

Washington received productive minutes from its smaller cast with Markieff Morris (22 points, 10 rebounds) in the center and four guards, including Wall and Beal, as well as a number of starters including Kelly Oubre Jr. and Porter, and Tomas Satoransky and Austin Rivers.

The group outperformed in a third quarter, which became somewhat hippie as both Beal and Harden judged technical fouls due to disapproval with the officer. In the first half, officer Morris struck with a technical foul after he and James Ennis III exchanged words with the Rockets.

The third quarter ended with a 98-94 lag by the Wizards. Harden scored 13 consecutive hits in which Houston freed the missiles from an 87-85 deficit.

"It's just the challenge to accept," Beal said. "We will play pretty small ball. This is not new to anyone. The guys in there need to know staff, who we guard, because we change a lot. "

The Wizards played their third game in a row and the 11th overall victory without Center Dwight Howard, who continues to deal with the gluteal pain according to the team. The three-time defensive player of the year made the injury worse on November 18 in the second quarter of a 119-109 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Howard, a five-time All-Star, had missed the first seven games of the season, prior to the training camp.

"It's definitely not ideal," Brooks said.

The missiles navigate through an injury field, most recently with point guard Chris Paul on the long list of players who can not play in Washington.

The nine-time All-Star officer was officially eliminated with a sore left leg, but Houston coach Mike D & # 39; Antoni revealed before the game on Monday that the 33-year-old Paul is resting a sore Achilles tendon. It was Paul's second consecutive game and it was the fourth in the season.

Paul had a lot of company against the wizards. Among others were also Gerald Green (right ankle pain) and the former Wizard Nene (right calf pain).

Despite the exhausted bid, Houston built 17 points in the first quarter before the Wizards stormed behind Wall and posted contributions from bankers in the second quarter. The missiles made their first seven three-point attempts, while the rest of the game was eleven with 41 (27 percent).

Wall thrilled the crowd with several highlights role-playing games, including a layup where he turned the ball around his back as he drove to the basket. Minutes later, Wall Satoransky glanced over to lie down. He helped Washington get into the locker room before half-time 67-65.

"Boys are playing with more energy now," Wall said. "[Morris is] get an opportunity to finish games. In the past, when he started with us, he would somehow get out earlier and not return in the fourth quarter. Now he plays big minutes for us, throws down big blows and gives us great energy. "


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