It was described by many as the most bizarre NBA basketball game they had ever experienced. Unfortunately for the Washington Wizards, more than weather proved a hurdle in what amounted to a 114-107 loss to the Houston Rockets Saturday night.
On two separate occasions the Verizon Center roof sprung a leak, prompting embarrassing delays to a game already on-track to prove bizarre. All told, weather resulted in 57 minutes of game stoppage.
Despite this, the Wizards astonishingly overcame a 25-point third quarter deficit on an unbelievable opening drive in the fourth quarter led by unlikely hero Kevin Seraphin.
In six and a half minutes, Seraphin had added 10 points to the drive and the Wizards had jumped in front 102-97.
But, as has too often been the case, Washington ran out of gas. In fact, four and a half minutes passed before the Wizards made their next basket, but the Rockets no doubt took advantage of Washington’s failure to find the basket.
In that time-frame, James Harden recorded eight points for the Rockets and Terrence Jones added a bank shot to give Houston a 107-102 lead with just 51 seconds remaining.
The Wizards could only answer with free throws, but the Rockets only allotted them so many while sinking seven of their own to seal their 114-107 win.
Harden finished out the night with a game-high 25 points, closely backed by Dwight Howard’s 23.
Both Wall and Trevor Ariza tallied 23 points for the Wizards, but too many of Washington’s core players failed to produce.
In 20 minutes of play, Marcin Gortat tallied just five points while Trevor Booker added just eight in 18.
Even more detrimental to the Wizards’ efforts was Bradley Beal’s inability to contribute when it mattered most. The Wizards’ shooting guard went just 4-for-16 from the field and missed all four of his three-point attempts. Even more, Beal went 0-for-4 from the field in the fourth quarter when the Wizards tried to hold onto their comeback. By the end of the night, Beal earned himself a +/- of -26.
“[The game] was definitely tough,” Beal said after the game. “ I mean, you can’t fight our effort. The group that was out there the last quarter plus, they did a tremendous job. We were supporting them and we knew the game wasn’t over. We were down 25, whatever it was with five minutes to go in the third, and we came back to go up five and then they ended up scoring 10-0 at the end of the game. It’s always hard because we always get ourselves in those positions where we fight our butt off to get back in the game and at the end of the game we are drained and have no energy to finish the game off.”
When asked what it was like to be a part of such a bizarre game, Wizards head coach Randy Wittman responded, “Well now I wish they would have just cancelled it.”
With the loss, the Wizards are now just 7-9 at home.