Bradley Beal led the Washington Wizards with 33 points as he engaged in a mano e mano shooting duel against his Houston Rockets counterpart James Harden in the Wizards’ 104-103 victory Monday night at the Toyota Center in Houston. It was the Wizards’ third straight victory, opening up a five-game road trip, while the Rockets dropped their third in a row.
The Wizards (22-8) nearly blew an 18-point third quarter lead, but the Rockets furious rally came up short as Harden’s last points, a three-pointer with one second left, provided the final margin. Harden scored nine points in the final 20 seconds.
The Rockets last led at 40-33 with 4:46 left in the second quarter, but the Wizards overtook the Rockets with a 13-5 run to go into halftime with a one-point lead that they never relinquished.
The Wizards’ shooting was impeccable, going 8 of 18 from three-point range and 26 of 28 from the free throw line. Beal himself was 5 of 9 from beyond the arc. Their free throw shooting down the stretch kept the Rockets at bay as they inched closer.
Paul Pierce added 21 points while John Wall and Nene rounded out the four Wizards starters in double figures.
Trevor Ariza scored 15 points against his former team for Houston, while Corey Brewer chipped in 15 off the bench.