James Harden scored 59 points and made one of two free throws with 2.4 seconds to play to give the Houston Rockets a 159-158 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
Bradley Beal scored 46 points for Washington, hitting three throws with 8.1 seconds left to tie it at 158.
Harden was 18 of 32 from the field, 6 of 14 from 3-point range, and made 17 of 18 free throws. He also had nine assists in 37 minutes.
Russell Westbrook had had just three points in the first three quarters, then scored 14 in the fourth quarter and finished with his second triple-double of the season. He had 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
Clint Capela added 21 points and 12 rebounds to help Houston improved to 3-1.
Rui Hachimura had 23 points in his home debut for the Wizards, Davis Bertans added 21 and Washington shot 62.6% from the field. The Wizards dropped to 1-3.
Hachimura, the highest drafted Japanese-born player in NBA history, had lots of fans in his home debut, including Shinsuke Sugiyama, the Japanese ambassador to the U.S.
Washington coach Scott Brooks coached Harden and Westbrook for three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder and is intrigued to see what the two, who were reunited in the offseason, can do with Houston.
“They’re going to do wonderful things together,” Brooks predicts.
Rockets: F P.J. Tucker began the season with three games of at least 15 points. “He’s so important that he was a couple of minutes late for the plane, and I told the guys, ‘We’re waiting for him. He’s the only guy shooting the ball,’” coach Mike D’Antoni joked. ... G Austin Rivers was assessed a technical foul in the fourth quarter.
Wizards: F Troy Brown had 14 points in his first game. Brown missed the first three games with a left calf injury. ... G C.J. Miles (left foot) has been assigned to the G League Capital City Go-Go on a rehab assignment. .F Admiral Schofield has also been sent to the Go-Go and G Justin Robinson has been recalled from the G League.
Rockets: At Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.
Wizards: Host Minnesota on Saturday night.
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