Kyle Kuzma scores 29 second-half points to lead Wizards to fourth straight win

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Kuzma scores 29 second-half points to beat Rockets originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Wizards beat the Houston Rockets 108-103 on Wednesday night. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

4 in a row

Down 10 points entering the fourth quarter, after three quarters of lifeless offense, the Wizards appeared en route to a letdown loss in Houston on the second night of a back-to-back. But they rallied immediately as the fourth quarter began, ushering a 23-4 run to open the frame, and snatched a win out of the hands of the young and inexperienced Rockets.

Washington outscored Houston 37-22 in the fourth quarter overall to secure their fourth consecutive win. They moved to 2-0 to begin a crucial five-game road trip as they near the Feb. 9 trade deadline. The Wizards can now enjoy a couple of days off in New Orleans before they play the Pelicans on Saturday night.

After winning four in a row, the Wizards are 22-26 on the year. They have won 11 of their last 17 games since the 10-game losing streak that ended on Dec. 20. While the Wizards remain streaky, the big picture suggests they may be righting the ship.

Kuzma took over

Kyle Kuzma has had a knack for turning it on in the second half lately and that was especially so in this game. He only had four points at halftime, yet ended up with 33 points for the game. He had 29 points in the second half, including 18 in the fourth quarter. His fourth-quarter surge featured five threes as the Wizards captured the momentum and rode it to a victory.

Kuzma's evolution into a 20-point scorer dates back to last season when he emerged amid injuries to Bradley Beal and other players. This recent trend, though, could be another step for him. The league's best scorers are versatile enough and patient enough to find a way to get theirs, even if it takes a few quarters of battling overloading defense or just an off-night overall. Kuzma is figuring out ways to break through and in this game, it helped lead to a win.

Nunn's debut

Kendrick Nunn, whom the Wizards acquired in the Rui Hachimura deal with the Lakers, was on the bench for Tuesday's game in Dallas, but was inactive. He was active the next night and made his Wizards debut against the Rockets. It was a solid start for the veteran guard, as he played 22 minutes and scored 12 points, shooting 5-for-9 from the field. Nunn missed a series of shots early on, but caught a rhythm and did a nice job setting up others as the Wizards made their second-half run.

The minutes total was our first glimpse at what Nunn's role could be for the rest of this season in Washington. Nunn was averaging 20.1 minutes per game for the Lakers over his previous nine before the trade, but before that was basically out of their rotation altogether. Wednesday's game certainly helped his cause with the Wizards.

Morris out, Wright in

The Wizards played without starting point guard Monte Morris, as he sat out due to right hamstring tightness in what was likely just a precaution on the second night of a back-to-back. Morris has dealt with the injury on and off this season and it might be pushing it to have him play two nights in a row with a flight in between, even if it was a quick one from Dallas to Houston.

With Morris absent, the Wizards started Delon Wright for the first time this season. He had previously come off the bench in all 18 of his appearances. He made an early impact with two steals in the first three minutes, finishing the night with five points and four assists. Jordan Goodwin also got some run after being inactive for the last two games as the Wizards have essentially been stalling before they can open a roster spot to convert his two-way deal into an NBA contract.

Gafford got another one

Daniel Gafford continues to build an impressive collection of highlight blocks while denying some of the NBA's highest fliers on poster dunks. He stuffed Rockets guard Jalen Green in the third quarter on a play that could have had him on SportsCenter if he didn't time it correctly. But he got there in time to send Green packing with a perfectly executed clean block.

That was one of four blocks for Gafford on the night. He also had nine points and eight rebounds and, most importantly, he stayed out of foul trouble. After fouling out of two straight games, Gafford only had two fouls in this one.

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