Wizards are giant killers this season
by USA TODAY Sports, USA TODAY
It hasn’t been a great season for the Washington Wizards, 20 games under .500 and almost impossible odds of making the playoffs.
But one thing the Wizards can say, they’re giant killers.
With Saturday’s 105-103 win against the Houston Rockets, the Wizards continue to be the team good teams don’t want to play. Since beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-99 on Jan. 7, the Wizards are 11-4 against teams with a winning record.
“We just step up to the challenge,” said Wizards forward Chris Singleton. “We executed the game plan the coaches came up with and down the stretch, we’re not our old selves. You see us. We grew up.”
Houston dominated early with an impressive 3-point shooting display, finishing with 57 points from outside the arc. The Wizards countered by going big and going inside, and it paid off when the former league laughingstock took down another winning team with 54 points inside the paint.
Bradley Beal scored 21 points, and Emeka Okafor had 17 points and 11 rebounds and made the go-ahead free throw with 5.2 seconds left to help host Washington defeat Houston 105-103 on Saturday night.
Trevor Ariza added 18 points and John Wall had 12 points and 11 assists for the Wizards, who came back from a 17-point deficit for their second straight win. Washington, winner of 10 of its last 12 home games, scored 54 points in the paint to offset the 57 points Houston scored on 19 3-pointers.
James Harden scored 27 points and Chandler Parsons had 24 with five 3-pointers for the Rockets. Houston attempted 46 3-pointers, the most in the NBA this season and three shy of the league record. The Rockets made 13 from beyond the arc in the first half, one off the NBA record they tied against the Warriors on Feb. 5.
“We just wanted to make it tough, make them make contested shots,” Wall said. “In the first half, they weren’t missing.”… [For more on Wizards are giant killers this season, click here.]