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National Basketball Association
Preview
Houston at Washington
When: 12:30 PM ET, Sunday, March 29, 2015
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

The Houston Rockets look to pull even in the race for the Southwest Division title when they hit the road to face the Washington Wizards on Sunday. The Rockets clinched a playoff spot with a 120-110 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday and moved within a half-game of the Memphis Grizzlies for the division lead. Houston has won eight of its last nine against Eastern Conference opponents and hopes to continue the trend by beating the Wizards for the third time in the last four meetings.

Washington snapped a four-game losing skid with a 110-107 double-overtime victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday. The Wizards sit two games behind the Toronto Raptors in the battle for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Washington has dropped three consecutive games against Western Conference foes, including the last two by an average margin of 27 points, and it hopes to complete the season sweep against Houston for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign.

TV: 12:30 p.m. ET, ABC

ABOUT THE ROCKETS (49-23): James Harden went 6-of-12 from beyond the arc en route to a game-high 33 points as Houston knocked down 20 3-pointers in the win over the Timberwolves. Dwight Howard added 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting in his second game back after missing the previous 26 with a knee injury and Josh Smith had 16 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds. Donatas Motiejunas missed his first game of the season with a lower back injury and will be re-evaluated in one-to-two weeks.

ABOUT THE WIZARDS (41-32): John Wall scored 32 points, including seven in the second overtime, to go along with nine rebounds and six assists in the win over the Hornets. Bradley Beal added 16 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals despite being bothered by a sprained ankle while Drew Gooden had 15 points and a season-high 17 boards as Washington grabbed 72 rebounds. Kris Humphries has missed the last 14 games with a groin injury but could return in time to face the Rockets.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The last two meetings have been decided by a combined two points.

2. The Rockets are 22-6 against Eastern Conference teams.

3. The Wizards have won six of their last seven home games.

PREDICTION: Rockets 107, Wizards 101
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Houston 49-23 W3 27-10 21-13 4-0 45-23 6-6 28-17
Washington 41-32 W1 26-11 15-21 2-5 39-27 9-6 26-19
Last Meeting
Houston Washington
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/29/14 WAS 104 HOU 103 103 38 46.5 104 35 47.9
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Houston J. Harden 33 52.2 6
Washington B. Beal 33 52.9 10
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Houston J. Dorsey 6 3 3
Washington M. Gortat 7 1 6
Assists Player  
Houston P. Beverley 4
Washington J. Wall 12
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Houston J. Harden 2039 43.9 654
Washington J. Wall 1370 44.6 291
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Houston D. Motiejunas 455 148 307
Washington M. Gortat 693 171 522
Assists Player  
Houston J. Harden 518
Washington J. Wall 737
Quickchart Matchup
Houston Off vs  Washington Defense
103.5 Points For
97.8 Points Against
44.1 FG%
43.6 FG%
43.5 Reb
41.5 Reb
Washington Off vs  Houston Defense
98.4 Points For
100.2 Points Against
46.3 FG%
44.2 FG%
41.5 Reb
43.6 Reb