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Rockets wait out delay, hold off Wizards
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - In what turned out to be one of the most bizarre NBA games in recent memory, James Harden scored 25 points with eight rebounds and five assists and the Houston Rockets fended off a furious Washington comeback attempt for a 114-107 win over the Wizards from a faulty Verizon Center.
The game was delayed at the start of the second and third quarters due to a leak in the Verizon Center roof that continuously dripped water onto the floor at halfcourt near the scorer's table.
Dwight Howard scored 23 points with seven rebounds and Terrence Jones recorded a double-double of 19 points and 17 rebounds for Houston, winners in three of its last four games. Jeremy Lin chipped in 18 points and eight assists in the win.
John Wall and Trevor Ariza registered double-doubles in Washington's fourth straight loss at home, as each scored 23 points. Wall added 10 assists and Ariza grabbed 14 rebounds
Kevin Seraphin added 18 points off the bench for the Wizards, while Bradley Beal scored 13 points in the loss.
The game was tied at 29 after one quarter of play when there was a lengthy delay at the start of the second stanza.
Because of the leak, the game was delayed 35 minutes as personnel tried to deal with the situation.
Coming out of the elongated holdup, Omri Casspi scored the first seven points for Houston as the Rockets went on a 16-6 run over six-plus minutes into the second.
Later in the frame, Casspi knocked down another trey that ignited a 18-4 spurt that Howard capped with a hook shot and help the Rockets to a 63-42 advantage with a 1 1/2 left until halftime.
Martell Webster hit a 3 to close the scoring in the half and the Wizards trailed 63-46 at the break.
There was another delay at the start of the third quarter, however, not as lengthy.
After 22 minutes following the break, the players got back onto the floor to ramp it up for another 24 minutes.
Much like the first break, Houston was the team who looked ready to play, outscoring the Wizards 10-4 in the opening 2:05 of the quarter. Harden capped the run with a trey and the Rockets had a commanding 73-50 lead.
Washington outscored Houston 13-6 in the final 2:48 to cut the deficit to 15 heading into the fourth.
Washington, however, surged back in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Rockets 23-3 over the first half of the frame to take a 102-97 lead. Seraphin scored 10 points during the burst as the Verizon Center faithful were treated to an astounding comeback.
Harden added 1-of-2 from the line to end over six minutes of scoreless basketball for Houston and the Rockets trailed 102-98 with 4:34 remaining.
He then added a pair of free throws and a driving layup to tie the game at 102 with 2 1/2 minutes to play.
Wall missed a layup and Harden made an incredible step-back jumper and was fouled by Beal in the process. Harden made the free throw as he single handily led an 8-0 run to give Houston a 105-102 lead.
Lin then found Jones, who made a lefty hook shot to increase the Rockets margin to five with 51.9 seconds left and Washington's comeback attempt came up just short.
"They made plays down the stretch and we didn't," said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman. "It just about boils down to that."
Houston shot 52.1 percent from the floor, while Washington shot 42.1 percent ... Washington outrebounded Houston 47-43, including 17-9 on the offensive glass ... Casspi scored 14 points off the bench ... Houston had 19 turnovers and Washington had 11.
01/11 23:07:26 ET