NBA wrap: Wizards stifles potent Rockets offense to earn statement win

Otto Porter Jr. broke out Friday to help Washington upset the Rockets.

Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. in action against the Houston Rockets on Friday.   -  USA TODAY

Keeping up its status as one of the most difficult teams to figure out in the NBA this season, the Washington Wizards arguably turned in its best game of the year Friday in a 121-103 win over the Rockets.

Washington used stifling defense to hold the Houston Rockets to a season-low 48 points at halftime. The Wizards had 12 steals Friday, led by point guard John Wall's five. Wall also scored 17 points with four assists.

Otto Porter Jr. led Washington's balanced scoring attack, racking up 26 points with seven assists and six rebounds. Porter played 40 minutes — most on the team — while shooting 9 for 16 from the field.

Friday's report: Harden questions officiating after controversial calls seal Celtics' epic comeback

The Wizards (20-16) has struggled to maintain momentum this season, but still stand fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.

The scuttling Rockets (25-9) has now lost five straight games, dropping to second in the West. James Harden led them with 20 points and four assists, but the rest of the starting lineup looked sluggish.

STUDS OF THE NIGHT

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook squared off in an intense matchup Friday, and Antetokounmpo made a game-winner as time expired to lead Milwaukee past the Thunder, 97-95. 

Antetokounmpo scored 23 points with 12 rebounds and six assists, while Westbrook poured in 40 points with 14 points and nine assists.

DUD OF THE NIGHT

Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder hit just 6 of 20 field-goal attempts in a 111-98 loss to the Serge Ibaka-less Raptors. Schroder scored 14 points with nine assists, but teammate Taurean Prince scored 30 points with 10 rebounds proving what a true leader does in big games. The Raptors suspended Ibaka one game for violating team rules.

HIGHLIGHT

Westbrook has hops:

 

WHAT'S NEXT

Spurs (25-11) at Pistons (19-15) — The Pistons has won five of its last seven games after losing seven in a row to start December. San Antonio has won three consecutive, climbing to third in the West. The Spurs is now without Rudy Gay, but Kawhi Leonard is starting to get his legs back, and LaMarcus Aldridge has regained his All-Star form.