Rockets Vs. Wizards: John Wall Stars, But Wizards Fall To 1-12 With Eight-Point Loss

John Wall scored 38 points, but the Wizards couldn't crawl back from a double-digit deficit and fell to 1-12 with a 114-106 loss to the Houston Rockets.

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Rockets Vs. Wizards: JaVale McGee, Flip Saunders Disagree On Third-Quarter Dunk

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Washington Wizards fell to 1-12 after a 114-106 loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday. There were lots of down moments in the game, particularly a third-quarter swoon that saw Houston take a double-digit lead. But the moment that will get plenty of scrutiny actually came on a play where the Wizards got two points.

With nine minutes and 36 seconds to go in the third quarter, JaVale McGee was all alone on the fast break, and instead of doing a normal dunk, he threw the ball off the backboard to himself and dunked it home to pull Washington to within four points. Nevertheless, Flip Saunders wasn't amused, and McGee was pulled from the game a few minutes later. He got back in early in the fourth quarter, but didn't play in the final nine minutes of the game.

Afterwards, McGee wasn't quite sure what he did wrong, saying he had no regrets about the move.

"Apparently, if you get a fast break and you throw it off the backboard in the third quarter and you're 1-11, you're not supposed to do stuff like that," McGee said, seemingly sarcastically. "I felt like I was trying to get the team hyped and trying to make a good play, so I felt like we did that, and we went on a run from there."

His coach did not agree.

"I told him that's unacceptable," Saunders said. "Maybe I'm too old-school, but save that for the All-Star Game. That right there is where we have to get to where we identify with meat and potato basketball. Playing hard, setting screens, playing the right way, and not highlight-type play. We've said this many times. We have some players that look for highlights instead of substance."

As for the rest of the players in the locker room, opinion was mixed. John Wall was on Saunders' side.

"A dunk is a dunk. It would have been better if he went in and did a regular dunk. We're 1-11," Wall said. "There was no point in doing that. I know he was excited, but if we make a basket, that's all that counts."

Veteran Mo Evans also agreed with Saunders, saying the experience reminded him of when he was with the Detroit Pistons and they kept losing in the Eastern Conference Finals.

"I've been on a team in the past where we kind of showboated a little bit, and we were winning and in the playoffs. As a result, we went to Miami that year and got beat the heck up," he said. I think that's something people will look at. We already are struggling to get wins and we don't need to try to get someone else back."

But McGee did have one player defending him. Nick Young was diplomatic, but he sided with McGee in this dispute.

"To me, I don't know. I think you're supposed to have fun. If you're having fun, you play well, you play better. I know that's the type of person JaVale is," Young said. "If he can't be that occasionally, he might go back to the old ways. I see a change and he's playing great, so I want to keep his head right and keep him on the same page."

"I understand where coach is coming from too. I don't want to get in the middle," Young continued. "But I've been through the trenches with JaVale and Coach Saunders, and I want JaVale to keep his head. I don't want him to get down."

Regardless of where one stands on the issue, the bottom line is that coach and player clearly were at odds. That's what makes this Evans quote especially amusing.

"But that's something JaVale recognized and understood once he did it and in the locker room," he said.

Apparently not.

For more on the Wizards, please visit Bullets Forever, SB Nation's Wizards blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Houston and The Dream Shake, SB Nation's Rockets blog.

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Rockets Vs. Wizards: Washington Falls To 1-12 With 114-106 Loss

The Washington Wizards fell to 1-12 on the season Monday when they dropped a Martin Luther King Day matinee against the Houston Rockets by a score of 114-106 at the Verizon Center.

Guard Kevin Martin led the way for Houston, posting a 25-point, 8-assist and 4-rebound line while forward Samuel Dalembert had 20 points and seven boards. The Rockets shot 48.3 percent from the field and overcame a 5-16 effort from 3-point territory by hitting 25-26 free throws on the afternoon.

John Wall was the big scorer for Washington in defeat, scoring 38 points on 13-22 shooting, dishing eight assists and grabbing six rebounds. Jordan Crawford scored 17 points on 7-12 shooting and JaVale McGee just missed a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds. The Wizards shot 48.8 percent from the field, but just 3-11 from 3-point territory and 25-32 from the foul line.

Washington is next in action on Wednesday when the Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Verizon Center for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff.

For more on the Wizards, please visit Bullets Forever, SB Nation's Wizards blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Houston and The Dream Shake, SB Nation's Rockets blog.

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Wizards Vs. Rockets Score Update: Houston Owns Four-Point Lead At Halftime

After one half of play at Verizon Center, the Houston Rockets lead the Washington Wizards, 58-54, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Kevin Martin leads the Rockets with 13 points on 3-of-7 shooting, while Luis Scola has added 12 points in 15 minutes.

John Wall leads all players with 14 points and four assists, but he's the only Wizard to score in double figures. Though Washington is shooting well as a team (46.3 percent), Houston's been even better, nailing 53.8 percent of its field-goal tries and all 14 of its free-throw attempts.

Washington's decisive edge on the glass--22-16 at intermission--has helped it tally 15 fast-break points. If it can maintain that pace and get Nick Young, shooting just 1-of-7 from the field, going offensively, it could pull off the upset and pick up its second victory of the season.

For more on the Wizards, please visit Bullets Forever, SB Nation's Wizards blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Houston and The Dream Shake, SB Nation's Rockets blog.

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Rockets Vs. Wizards Game Time, TV Schedule, Announcers And More

The Washington Wizards (1-11) host the Houston Rockets (5-7) in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinée Monday afternoon at Verizon Center. Washington is looking to end its three-game losing streak, during which it's been defeated by an average of 19.3 points per game.

Houston is on an upswing of late, winning two in a row and three of their last four. Saturday, the Rockets downed the Portland Trail Blazers, 107-105, in overtime behind 33 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists from Kyle Lowry. Kevin Martin scored 28 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the foul line, while Samuel Dalembert and Luis Scola combined for 22 boards.

The teams split the two meetings last season, with each winning on its home floor.

Here's more on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day matchup between the Rockets and Wizards:

Game Date/Time: Monday, January 16; 2:00pm ET

Location: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

TV Schedule
Washington: Comcast SportsNet HD
Houston: FSN Houston

Radio Schedule
Washington: The Fan 106.7 FM
Houston: SportsRadio 610 AM, La Ranchera 850 AM

For more on the Wizards, please visit Bullets Forever, SB Nation's Wizards blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Houston and The Dream Shake, SB Nation's Rockets blog.

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Rockets Vs. Wizards: Washington Hosts Surging Houston Squad

The Washington Wizards have been struggling for, well, the whole season really; and things don't get much easier as they'll host three very talented teams from the Western Conference at the Verizon Center this week. That rough stretch starts with the Houston Rockets, which features an unlikely matchup of one of the most talented point guards in the NBA and one of the most productive.

Houston's Kyle Lowry leads the team in scoring, assists and steals, and is less than a half a rebound away from leading them in scoring. He has been a threat to go off for a triple double almost every time he touches the floor, and will be a tough matchup for John Wall.

Behind Lowry the Rockets have some good secondary scorers and role players and should provide a tough test for the Wizards.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Wizards, visit Bullets Forever, SB Nation's Wizards blog. For some perspective on the team from the other side of the court, head over to SB Nation's Rockets blog, The Dream Shake. For all your NBA news and notes visit SB Nation's NBA hub.

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Wizards Schedule 2012: Washington Hosts Three Western Conference Foes At Verizon Center This Week

The Washington Wizards will host three Western Conference teams this week, including a visit from hometown favorite Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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