Rockets-Wizards Preview

The Associated Press

The Houston Rockets are one of the highest-scoring teams in the NBA, and that's been particularly obvious over the past month.

The Rockets may have some new faces contributing to the offense as they try to continue their recent dominance of the Washington Wizards on Saturday night in the nation's capital.

Houston (31-26) averages 106.4 points, ranking behind only Oklahoma City's 106.7. The Rockets have been even better during the current 9-4 stretch, averaging 113.8 while shooting 50.0 percent overall and 41.1 percent from beyond the arc.

They flexed those scoring muscles against the Thunder on Wednesday, beating them 122-119 and following it up with a 106-96 victory at Brooklyn two days later. Houston hit 31 3s over those two games, six fewer than its total from the previous four contests.

"The past couple of weeks we've shown flashes, in my mind, of being a really, really, good team," said Jeremy Lin, who had nine points versus the Nets after getting 29 two days earlier.

It would seem the Rockets are at least in position for a three-game winning streak since they've won 13 of their last 15 meetings with the Wizards (16-37) and six of seven in Washington.

Houston took the latest matchup at home, winning 99-93 on Dec. 12 behind 31 points from James Harden.

The All-Star guard enters this matchup averaging 32.7 points on 57.0 percent shooting - 54.8 from 3-point range - over his past six games.

While Harden, among the league leaders with 26.4 points per game, will likely play a major role again, the Rockets may get a chance to introduce some new acquisitions.

They made a deal with Sacramento prior to Wednesday's trade deadline, but Thomas Robinson - the No. 5 pick in last year's draft - Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt weren't available Friday because Patrick Patterson, Toney Douglas and Cole Aldrich hadn't gotten their physicals with the Kings done in time.

Robinson is the most prominent addition, but he's averaging 4.8 points. The forward scored nine for Sacramento in a win at Washington on Jan. 28, when he was making his professional debut in his hometown. Garcia had 17 points in that game, his second-highest scoring effort of the season.

The Wizards are trying to win for the sixth time in eight tries after beating Denver 119-113 on Friday as six players scored in double figures.

Bradley Beal was one of them, finishing with 17 points and a season-high 12 rebounds while overcoming a hard fall on the court. That came a day after he spent 2 1/2 hours at the dentist to fix his two chipped front teeth - parts of which apparently became embedded in Cartier Martin's forehead.

"We were saying on the bench - he's having a rough rookie year," said Emeka Okafor, who had 17 points and 13 rebounds versus the Nuggets.

Beal, though, is doing just fine lately, averaging 20.0 points while sinking 9 of 19 from beyond the arc over the last four games. He led the way with 20 against Houston in December.

John Wall missed that game but has averaged 21.8 points over four career meetings with the Rockets, scoring a career-high 38 in the most recent matchup in Washington.

The Wizards also are expected to welcome a new addition in Jason Collins, acquired in a trade that sent Jordan Crawford to Boston on Wednesday.