Cumberland Times-News

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February 24, 2013

Wizards fend off Rockets’ 3s for 105-103 win

Washington rallies from early deficit

(Continued)

With Okafor being defended by the 6-foot-6 Carlos Delfino, the Wizards fed the center in the low post and he drew a foul.
“I thought that they would stay small,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of his plan on the final possession.
After making his first free-throw attempt, Okafor missed the second, but Beal sneaked in for the rebound and was fouled with 1.9 seconds remaining. After Beal split his free throws, Harden’s half-court attempt was blocked by Ariza.
“They went inside a little bit more,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “But really we had turnovers. We had empty possessions. ... We did not have a good second half.”
The Wizards are 11-4 against teams with winning records since Jan. 7.
“We just step up to the challenge,” said Wizards reserve Chris Singleton. “We executed the game plan the coaches came up with and down the stretch, we’re not our old selves. You see us. We grew up.”
Patrick Beverley scored a career-high 15 points with three 3-pointers and Delfino had four 3-pointers and scored 12 points for the Rockets.
McHale limited Jeremy Lin, who scored five points, to 26 minutes due to illness.
The Rockets hit from long range in the first quarter, sinking 8 of 14 3s for a 32-22 lead. Parsons made his three attempts and Harden added one during an 11-4 run to close the quarter.
Three more 3-pointers came during a 14-0 spurt as Harden’s trey put Houston ahead 48-31.
The Rockets led 57-46 at halftime, but the Wizards fought back with a 19-6 run highlighted by seven points from Ariza and Wall’s jump shot for a 73-72 lead with 3:14 remaining in the quarter. The Rockets regained the lead and entered the fourth quarter up 83-77. Houston missed seven of 10 3’s in the fourth.
“We shoot a lot of 3s as a team, but I think we got a little 3 happy,” McHale said. “We didn’t get enough penetration and enough ball movement.”

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