Wizards-Rockets Preview

The Associated Press

Chandler Parsons wants the Houston Rockets to keep the accelerator down all the way into the All-Star break.

A home win Wednesday night over the Washington Wizards will send the Rockets into the break as the NBA's hottest team with their first seven-game win streak in over two years.

Parsons scored a team-high 20 points in Monday's 107-89 victory at Minnesota to extend the Rockets' winning streak to a season-best six games.

"We definitely didn't want to let up this game," Parsons said. "A lot of teams this time of the year give some games away not being focused looking forward to All-Star week, and we knew they weren't going to lay down and they were going to make a run."

That run came in the third as Houston (35-17) allowed a 15-point lead to be cut to four, but a 25-11 scoring advantage in the fourth kept the winning streak going. Rockets coach Kevin McHale sees the third-quarter letdown as something his team needs to eliminate.

"We do that a lot," McHale said. "If you watch our team all year long we have a lot of flows inside of the game. We had a great opportunity to put them out earlier than we did and we had turnovers and had a lot of four-point plays where we would miss a chippy or a shot and they would come down and score."

The Rockets, who last won seven in a row from Jan. 13-23, 2012, held the Timberwolves to 35.6 percent shooting and featured a balanced offensive attack with James Harden scoring 19 while Dwight Howard added 18 and 15 rebounds.

"We do an excellent job of sharing the ball and finding an open man," Howard said. "When we do that it's hard for teams to decide what they're going to do, if they're going to double out the posts or stay with the 3-point shooters. We just want to make teams make tough decisions on the floor."

On the winning streak, they've had five players at or above 13.7 points per game - Howard (24.8), Harden (23.0), Terrence Jones (14.8), Parsons (14.3) and Jeremy Lin (13.7).

The last meeting with the Wizards was just as balanced as five Rockets had at least 14 points in a 114-107 win at Washington on Jan. 11. Harden led all scorers with 25 and is averaging 27.7 in three starts against Washington since joining the Rockets.

John Wall and Trevor Ariza each had 23 for the Wizards, who have lost 10 of 11 meetings in Houston.

Since that loss, the Wizards (25-26) are 9-7 and are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference entering their last game before the break. They've dropped three of four, but two of those losses have been by one possession and the other was a double-overtime game.

In Tuesday's 92-89 loss at Memphis, Bradley Beal scored a career-high 37 points on 15-of-24 shooting to lead the Wizards back from a 16-point second-half deficit, but they weren't able to hold a brief fourth-quarter lead.

"As soon as I saw the first couple go in, it was a wrap after that," Beal said. "My confidence was high, and I just kept shooting the ball the same way every time."

Wall, his backcourt mate, went 2 of 10 for a season-low five points. He's 7 for 23 in his last two games, and the Wizards are 3-12 when he fails to score 15 points.

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