NBA Game Summary - Washington at Houston
(Friday, March 31st)
Final Score: Houston 105, Washington 103
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Yao Ming tied a season high with 38 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets over the Washington Wizards, 105-103, at the Toyota Center.
Luther Head added 20 points and seven boards and Rafer Alston had 19 points and eight assists for the Rockets, who have won two straight and three of four.
"We didn't end the game well. We were ahead by nine points with about three minutes left and then we didn't handle the ball well against the full court press," Yao said. "It became (a close) game. We have to know our opponent's strength."
Antawn Jamison had 28 points and nine rebounds, but missed a potential game- winning three-pointer as time expired, as the Wizards had a two-game win streak halted. Washington's loss also allowed Miami to clinch the Southeast Division title.
Gilbert Arenas added 27 points and 11 assists for Washington, which maintained its 1 1/2 game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks for the fifth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks lost to the Detroit Pistons 112-105 on Friday night.
"It's a tight race and we have to keep winning games," Arenas said. "We have to play consistent basketball and any series we get into we are going to battle and we can give any team a run for their money."
After Alston hit 1-of-2 free throws with 16 seconds remaining to give the Rockets a two-point lead, 105-103, the Wizards called a time out to regroup.
On the inbounds pass, Arenas held the ball at the top of the key and tried to shake his defender for the three-pointer. He couldn't get a shot off and passed to Jared Jeffries, who had an open look at a mid-range jumper but instead chose a cross-court pass to Antonio Daniels. Daniels then hit Jamison at the top of the key, but his three-pointer bounced off the rim as the horn sounded.
Jeffries ended with 15 points and nine boards for the Wizards, who fell to 3-2 on their current six-game road trip.
Houston led 30-28 after one quarter and extended that cushion to 62-50 at halftime.
Washington rallied to draw within 83-74 after three quarters and down 102-91 with 3 1/2 minutes left, went on a 10-0 run to draw within 102-101. Jeffries' bucket with just over 1 1/2 minutes left capped the surge, which saw Arenas score five points to make things interesting.
Washington has lost four straight and 11 of 12 in Houston...The Rockets swept the season series and has won seven of the last nine meetings against Washington...Houston improved to 15-23 at home...Washington fell to 13-21 on the road...The Rockets' bench scored just 15 points compared to 20 for the Wizards.
04/01 02:28:59 ET