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Wizards Suffer Second-Half Meltdown in Houston

Rockets 101
Wizards 91

January 2, 2017 – Toyota Center, Houston, TX

NBA Stats Box Score

A tale of two halves

After the Wizards got off to a great start in the first two quarters, they looked completely different in the second half, allowing the Rockets to come back and take the game 101-91. The loss drops the Wizards below .500 once again at 16-17.

Here’s how it went down:

1st quarter

The Wizards came out of the gates scoring the first four points of the game. After letting Houston get back into it, Washington answered with a 9-0 run highlighted by a big dunk by Markieff Morris. After grabbing a rebound, John Wall raced right down the court, literally from end toend like he was doing a 100-yard dash (which he would certainly come in first if that was the case) and dropped a dime to Morris.

That 9-0 run stretched out to a 17-4 run as the Wizards took advantage of turnovers by Houston, who rank sixth in the league in that category, Washington outshot Houston 59% to 33% to end the quarter up 29-14. The Wizards shot 13-of-22 with 14 rebounds and six fast break points.

2nd quarter

Houston started the quarter on a 9-2 run to cut the 15-point deficit to eight but Washington answered right back with a run of their own. This time it was an 8-0 run that was capped when Trey Burke found an open Jason Smith. Smith got the pass and went right in for the slam.

If you want to know why we all say that John Wall is your point guard’s favorite point guard, one reason is plays like the one we saw where he passed the basketball through a defender’s legs in the lane. Marcin Gortat finished that play with a layup:

The Wizards held superstar James Harden to six points in the first half and headed to the locker room with a 53-41 lead.

3rd quarter

The Wizards were hot the first two quarters but cooled off in the third. Unfortunately for them, the Rockets heated up and took control outscoring the Wizards 37-17 to go up 78-70 entering the fourth.

Adding insult to injury, it was former Wizard Nene who gave them their first lead of the night. He scored two more buckets shortly after. Harden started heating up as well.

4th quarter

The second half collapse and #SoWizards came full circle in the fourth. Despite Beal hitting shots to keep the Wizards in the game, the Rockets ran away.

The Wizards did come back after a great defensive play by Kelley Oubre Jr. to steal the ball. Morris finished the play with an and-one to tie the game at 82. After that, the Rockets ran away thanks to Eric Gordon off the bench making big shots off the bench.

“They started to make shots, the shots they missed in the first half but we didn’t come out with the same intensity offensively.” – John Wall.

#WizRockets in a Tweet

The Game’s Top Performer

Bradley Beal – 27 points, 2 steals, 5-10 from 3PT

Beal returned to the lineup Monday night after being sidelined last game with a right ankle sprain. He led the Wizards with 27 points while adding two assists and three rebounds. He hit five from 3-point land and stole the ball twice.

A forgettable night for..

The bench.

If there’s any reason for not getting your hopes up after a commanding first half lead, it certainly could start with the second unit. The Wizards bench could only muster 13 points. Meanwhile a bench player for the Rockets outscored the ENTIRE Wizards bench with 31 points. That’s right, 31 POINTS.

Key Stat of the Night

The Wizards ran all over the Rockets in the first half, and outscored the Rockets with a total of 17-8 in fast break points, a positive takeaway from this loss.

What’s next?

The Wizards complete the Texas two-step with a trip to Dallas to take on the Mavericks. Dallas heads into this one 10-24 record and are second to last in the Western Conference. Tip-off is at 8:30 Eastern and can be seen on CSN+.

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