NBA -- Wizards hold off Rockets in Houston, 104-103
By Leo Quilaton
Wed, 31 Dec 2014
HOUSTON - Bradley Beal and Paul Pierce provided the 1-2 punch that the Washington Wizards needed to beat Western Conference heavyweights Houston Rockets on Monday night at the Toyota Center.
Beal tallied a game-high 33 points, thanks to a perfect 10-for-10 trip at the free throw stripe, and the veteran Pierce added 21 points as the Wizards upset the 21-9 Rockets at their home turf, 104-103.
John Wall was instrumental for the Wizards as well and recorded 13 points and 12 assists as Washington held on to their third place spot in the Eastern Conference with a mighty 22-8 overall record, including an impressive 8-4 slate away from the home court the Verizon Center.
"I was just being aggressive, taking what the defense gave me. I was fortunate to have a lot of open shots," Beal told reporters after the game, including ESPN.
It wasn't easy though.
Leading by nine, 93-83, with 3:50 left to play, the Wizards appeared headed to a comfortable finish. But James Harden led a mini-run that pulled Houston to within 100-97 in the final 19 seconds of play.
The Wizards didn't panic, though, and four free throws by Beal and Wall eventually extinguished Houston's fire.
Harden had 33 points and six rebounds for the Rockets and Dwight Howard added 13. Trevor Ariza pitched in 15 but the newly-acquired Josh Smith was held to three points on 1-for-6 shooting.
Photo: Bradley Beal (center) tried to elude Rockets' stars Dwight Howard and James Harden at the Toyota Center. Beal topped with 33 points as Washington scored a 104-103 nail-biter.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Leo Quilaton.
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