Rockets blitz Wizards with record 26 threes

Houston Rockets guard James Harden taking off for two of his 35 points in his team's 136-118 win over the Washington Wizards at Toyota Centre. He also scored six three-pointers as Houston won their fifth straight.
Houston Rockets guard James Harden taking off for two of his 35 points in his team's 136-118 win over the Washington Wizards at Toyota Centre. He also scored six three-pointers as Houston won their fifth straight.PHOTO: REUTERS

HOUSTON (Texas) • The Houston Rockets were at full blast in the last National Basketball Association (NBA) regular season, notching up a league-leading 65 wins.

This campaign, though, they have crashed down to earth and lie in seventh place in the Western Conference after a 16-14 start.

But if there is one thing that fans should not write off, it is the Rockets' long-range firepower.

On Wednesday night, Houston routed the Washington Wizards 136-118 at home on the back of an NBA single-game record of 26 three-pointers.

The crowd at the Toyota Centre chanted "One more three! One more three!" before Michael Carter-Williams drained the record-breaker from beyond the arc with 31.1 seconds remaining and victory assured.

Gary Clark's three-pointer with 2min 42sec to play had tied the previous mark of 25 set by the Cleveland Cavaliers last March.

Reigning Most Valuable Player James Harden had six three-pointers on the way to 35 points.

  • 47.3% 

    Rockets' three-point percentage, making 26 of 55 from beyond the arc.

Chris Paul (21 points) added five from beyond the arc and Gerald Green (12) and Eric Gordon (16) made four apiece as the Rockets - who endured a rough start to the season - got back to their free-wheeling ways with a fifth straight victory.

"We're just playing better," Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said.

"When you have the right spirit, you're doing the right things and hustling, stuff falls in. If you don't, you don't make them.

"Our energy is right the last five games. We've just got to keep it there."

Houston shot 55.3 per cent overall, and attempted 55 three-pointers in total.

The Wizards (12-20) shot a robust 53.6 per cent but were 10 of 30 from deep.

Bradley Beal paced Washington with 28 points while John Wall had 18 points and 12 assists. Trevor Ariza, in his first game back in Houston after departing via free agency, had 15 points, six rebounds and three steals.

"I didn't really know (of the Rockets' three-point record) until I came out of the game," Beal said.

"I look up and they have 25 threes out of 50. It's just ridiculous in itself, and the crowd just kept saying 'Three! Three! Three!' You notice it, but they were shooting the s*** out of it."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2018, with the headline 'Rockets blitz Wizards with record 26 threes'. Print Edition | Subscribe