WASHINGTON (AP) – Even the Wizards seemed surprised by the way they won.
Bradley Beal said he couldn’t have imagined allowing the opposing starting guards to combine for 90 points and still get a victory.
“No sir. Absolutely not. No sir,” Beal said. “Not at all. It’s amazing we pulled it off still.”
John Wall scored a season-high 36 points, including six in overtime, and Washington overcame James Harden’s season-best 54 points to outlast the Houston Rockets 135-131 on Monday night.
Harden, the NBA’s leading scorer, also had 13 assists, while Eric Gordon added a season-high 36 points.
Wall had two baskets in the extra period and finished with 11 assists. Beal equaled his season high with 32 points for the Wizards.
Otto Porter hit a runner with 4:37 to play for the first basket in overtime and the Wizards remained ahead from there. Wall followed with a jumper to make it 129-125 and later made another jumper that pushed the lead to five. Beal’s dunk extended it to 133-126 with 1:50 to play.
Harden had 44 points through three quarters but missed five of his seven shots in the fourth. In overtime, Harden whose career high is 60, was 1 of 2 from the field and had two free throws. He had 11 turnovers, three in overtime, and 13 assists.
“It’s not even about myself,” Harden said. “It’s about our entire team. We had a really good start to the game and kind of let our guard down.”
Harden scored 12 points in the first quarter, 11 in the second and 21 points in the third quarter. In the fourth, he began the quarter on the bench, and scored six as the Wizards and Rockets headed to overtime with the score knotted at 125.
Houston raced to a 27-10 lead, but Washington clawed its way back. Markieff Morris had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards.
Clint Capela had 17 points and 14 points for the short-handed Rockets, who played without Chris Paul for the second straight game and fell to 9-10.
Rockets: Paul was listed as being out with a sore left leg, though coach Mike D’Antoni classified the injury differently. “We’ve just got to make sure Chris gets 100 percent well from his strained hammy,” D’Antoni said. … G/F Gerald Green missed his third game with a sore right ankle. … Houston added F Danuel House from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League. … Made their first seven 3-point shots, then missed 10 straight.
Wizards: C Dwight Howard was out for the fourth straight game with a glute injury. “It’s a slow process,” coach Scott Brooks said. “He’s doing everything he can.” . Morris, F Kelly Oubre Jr. and Beal picked up technicals. … Allowed 42 points in the first quarter, the fifth time this year they’d given up at least 40. … Wall passed Wes Unseld for third place on the franchise career scoring list.
Wall said that despite allowing 54 points to Harden, Beal did a fine job against him.
“It’s what you dream of,” Wall said. “It’s what you live for, to be on the big stage, a big moment, going against a guy like that.”
D’Antoni knows he’s asking too much of Harden, who played a season-high 47 minutes.
“I mean, we’re asking, especially James, you know what? Play (47) minutes, make every play,” D’Antoni said. “There are going to be periods where he’s just gassed.”
Besides Paul and Green, the Rockets are without G Brandon Knight (left knee), C Nene (right calf) and F/C Zhou Qui. Knight and Nene haven’t played at all this season, and Qui has played one minute.
It hasn’t gotten Gordon down.
“We definitely want to turn it into a wins,” Gordon said. “We’re not discouraged. We’re going to get this thing rolling here soon.”
Rockets: Host the Mavericks on Wednesday
Wizards: Visit Pelicans on Wednesday as Washington plays six of its next seven on the road.
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