Rockets 114, Wizards 107

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WASHINGTON -- Houston guard James Harden scored eight straight points in the final minutes as the Rockets held off a furious Washington Wizards comeback to secure a 114-107 win on Saturday night in the Verizon Center.

The Wizards trailed by 25 points early in the third quarter and were down 94-79 after three quarters.

Washington outscored Houston 23-3, including a 19-0 run, to take a 102-97 lead with 5:27 to play.

Harden then scored on three free throws, a layup and a three-point play while the Rockets held the Wizards scoreless for nearly five minutes.

Harden finished with 25 points and center Dwight Howard had 23. Guard Jeremy Lin scored 18 points and forward Terrence Jones had 19 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.

Guard John Wall paced the Wizards with 23 points and 10 assists. Forward Trevor Ariza had 23 points and 14 rebounds. Backup center Kevin Seraphin contributed a season-high 18 points.

Heavy rain pelted Washington the last two days and it twice halted the game. With 11:51 to play in the second quarter, moisture from the roof was felt on the court and play was stopped for 35 minutes.

Both teams were hot to start the game. In the first quarter, the Rockets shot 65 percent from the field and the Wizards 61.9 percent.

The Rockets used a 10-0 run to take a 26-20 lead with 2:41 to play in the first quarter, but the Wizards tied it at 29 at the end of the quarter.

Nine seconds into the second quarter, the leaky roof forced a stoppage in play. When play resumed, Houston outscored Washington 34-17 to take a 63-46 lead at the half.

Rain delayed the start of the second half, too, this time by 22 minutes.

Jones had a three-point play with 8:03 left in the third quarter to give Houston its largest lead at 78-53 after three quarters.

NOTES: Houston F Chandler Parsons is out with a sore right knee for the third straight game. ... Wizards coach Randy Wittman joked that he called Pacers coach Frank Vogel after Friday night's game when he realized his team missed 14 of its 23 free throws. "I asked him where he came up with that defense on the free throw line. It was some of the best I've seen," Wittman said. ... Rockets coach Kevin McHale said his team has yet to play its best this season because so many players have been out with injuries. "The exciting thing about this team is if we get everybody back healthy, and get some time together, I think we have a whole nother couple rungs on the ladder that we haven't touched yet," McHale said. ... Houston had won 10 of its previous 12 meetings with Washington and the last three.

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