• Brian L. Barefield

Rockets Extend Winning Streak In Victory Over Washington

Photo Credit/Houston Rockets

On Tuesday night the Houston Rockets got a chance to do something they have not been able to do this entire season and that was to have fun. They defeated the visiting Washington Wizards 107-88 at Toyota Center to improve to 7-9 and are now on a three-game winning streak.

Rockets head coach Stephen Silas was very impressed by the way his team was able to come together in the second half and limit the Wizards scoring opportunities.

“The defensive effort was good in the second half to hold that team to only 36 points, and they are a very good offensive team, to force the turnovers that we forced and to get 24 points off those turnovers was really big for us,” said Silas. “Creating turnovers so we can play a little faster is good for us.”

Houston got a big boost from starting point guard John Wall who was playing against his former team for the first time since being traded in the off-season for Russell Westbrook. Wall was drafted with the first overall pick by the Wizards in the 2010 NBA Draft. He finished the game with 24 points and five assists in only 24 minutes of action since the medical staff has him on a minute’s restriction as he works his way back into game shape from a knee injury, he suffered earlier this season.

“It was nothing to prove for me,” said Wall when asked if he felt like he proved something to the organization that traded him away. “I know how hard I worked the last two years. I just wanted to go into this game playing aggressive and getting back to a high level. The most important thing for me was to get the win.”

The Rockets took a slim four-point lead into halftime leading 56-52 and came out of the locker room looking lethargic on the offensive end of the floor as they went scoreless for over four minutes in the third quarter but was able to end the quarter on a 10-2 run and held Washington to just 18 points in the quarter as they led 75-70 heading into the final period.

In the fourth quarter Houston turned up the intensity on the offensive end getting 19 out of their 32 points from newly acquired shooting guard Victor Oladipo and Wall, who were playing together in the backcourt for the first time in their careers.

“I think we can continue to improve and there is room for growth and to get better,” Oladipo said about playing with Wall. “It was an adjustment trying to figure out where my spots are. Where he is getting his shots from. It will continue to get better as the year goes on.”

Washington was led by Bradley Beal’s 33 points and Russell Westbrook chipped in 19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in his return to the Toyota Center. Tempers flared up late in the game between Wall and Westbrook as both received technical fouls before foul shots for Westbrook.

“It was just trash talk,” said Wall. “It’s just what two competitive guys do. Russ has been kicking my ass for years. This aint the first time we have trashed talk. It was just basic trash talk. Nothing personal.”

Houston will look to extend their winning streak to four games on Thursday as they host the Portland Trailblazers at Toyota Center.

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