HOUSTON (AP) — On a minutes restriction due to a sore knee, Houston’s John Wall needed to wait till the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter to re-enter Tuesday evening’s recreation in opposition to his former crew.
When he lastly checked in, it did not take lengthy for him to place a punctuation mark on a strong efficiency by the Rockets.
Wall had 15 factors and 4 assists by halftime, together with a left-handed layup that got here after a nifty behind the again transfer and put Houston up 53-45 within the second quarter. He cooled off within the third, however obtained going once more within the fourth to safe the win in his second recreation again after lacking 5 with a sore left knee.
Houston was main by six when Wall re-entered the sport. He scored 5 fast factors earlier than discovering Victor Oladipo within the nook close to the Washington bench for a 3-pointer to make it 93-79.
”I used to be itching to get again in within the fourth quarter,” he mentioned. ”I wished to play, particularly in opposition to my outdated crew. And we form of separated ourselves proper there.”
Wall was chosen by Washington with the No. 1 general decide within the 2010 draft and spent his complete profession with the Wizards earlier than he was traded to Houston in December for Westbrook and a future first-round decide.
He insisted he did not assume he had something to show in opposition to the Wizards. However he did admit that he is having a good time together with his new crew after a rocky ending to his tenure in Washington.
”I have not performed in two years so that is enjoyable,” he mentioned. ”To be someplace the place you are wished, that is a very powerful factor. I by no means wish to be wherever the place I am not wished and I really feel like this group wished me right here they usually’ve proven nothing however love and belief for me since Day One.”
Washington coach Scott Brooks was impressed by Wall’s efficiency after watching him work his method again from damage over the previous two seasons.
”I am pleased for him,” Brooks mentioned. ”I am not pleased that he received tonight, however I am pleased that he is again. He fought onerous … to come back again and I hope he has a wholesome yr.”
Wall mentioned Tuesday’s recreation wasn’t too emotional however that he expects to really feel extra when he returns to Washington later this season. He added that he is bored with speaking about his former crew and does not wish to focus on the Wizards once more till that recreation on Feb. 15.
The Wizards referred to as a timeout after Houston’s 8-Zero run, and Wall yelled and jumped as he appeared on the opposing bench earlier than bounding again to the Houston aspect.
Wall and Westbrook have been each given technical fouls quickly after that once they jawed at one another as Westbrook ready to shoot free throws after being fouled by DeMarcus Cousins.
Bradley Beal made a 3-pointer with about Three half of minutes left to trim Houston’s result in 10, however Wall hit a Three seconds later and Cousins, who had 19 factors and 11 rebounds, added two free throws to make it 99-84.
”We made some vital errors and did not make some photographs (to) shut out the sport,” Brooks mentioned.
Oladipo and Eric Gordon added 20 factors apiece to assist the Rockets to their third straight win.
Beal scored 33 factors to provide him at the least 25 in every of his 12 video games this season, extending a franchise report. Westbrook, who spent one season in Houston, had 19 factors, 11 assists and 7 rebounds.
Wizards: Had been lacking six gamers due to well being and security protocols. … Robin Lopez had 10 factors.
Rockets: Christian Wooden missed his third straight recreation with a sprained proper ankle. … Danuel Home had two factors and a rebound in his return after lacking 4 video games with again spasms and 7 due to well being and security protocols.
STARTING TO MESH
Tuesday was the primary recreation that Wall and Oladipo performed collectively after Oladipo, who got here to Houston within the James Harden commerce, sat out for relaxation on Saturday evening. Coach Stephen Silas mentioned the offense was a bit disjointed for a lot of the sport whereas the 2 adjusted to enjoying collectively, however he thought they started to mesh within the fourth quarter.
”The fourth quarter was good,” Silas mentioned. ”They have been determining how they will make one another higher and play to one another’s strengths. … It is a work in progress for certain.”
Wizards: Go to New Orleans on Wednesday evening earlier than returning house to play Atlanta on Friday evening.
Rockets: Host Portland on Thursday evening earlier than embarking on a four-game journey starting Saturday evening in New Orleans.
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