NBA: Kyle Kuzma leads Wizards to win over Rockets

Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards celebrates with teammate Bradley Beal #3 against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Capital One Arena on January 21, 2023 in Washington, DC.

FILE–Washington Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma #33 celebrates with teammate Bradley Beal #3. Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP

Kyle Kuzma scored 20 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter as the Washington Wizards erased a 19-point deficit en route to a 108-103 road win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

The Wizards extended their modest winning streak to four games with a scoring blitz to open the final period.

Kuzma scored seven points during the opening stretch, a 12-2 run that knotted the score at 83-83 with 8:49 to play. Kuzma drilled a 3-pointer as part of a four-point possession before adding a pair of free throws and a transition layup that tied the score.

Kuzma had just begun. He nailed a trio of 3-pointers after a Houston timeout, the first of which gave Washington its first lead of the game with 8:19 left. His third 3-pointer extended the margin to 94-85 and capped a 23-4 run that started the game’s final period.

Bradley Beal scored 17 points for the Wizards. Danny Avodeja (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Kendrick Nunn (12 points, four assists) paced the Washington bench unit with 37 points.

Alperin Sangen (21 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) posted his second career triple-double to lead the Rockets. Jalen Green added 19 points – but only seven in the second half – and seven assists while Kenyon Martin Jr. paired 16 points with 13 rebounds as Houston lost for the 14th time in 15 games.

The Rockets were quick to jump on the Wizards, who looked sluggish after Tuesday’s game in Dallas.

Houston shot 61.9 percent in the first quarter thanks to excellent ball movement, including nine assists on 13 field goals. Not only did Green and Sengan score eight points in the first, Houston also scored eight points off its bench and led by nine points.

Washington threatened a blowout loss in the second quarter, falling into a 55-36 hole after the Rockets capped a 9-0 spurt with a Sengen driving layup with 2:41 left in the first half. was

The Wizards found some energy late in the second quarter and cut the deficit to 58-43 at halftime. Their bench, which scored 25 points before halftime, kept them going until Kuzma’s walk, and it was his three-point play with 6:29 left in the third that made it a 12-4 run. and pulled the Wizards to within 66. -61.

Houston built its own double-digit lead by the end of the frame, but Kuzma stayed hot in the fourth as the Wizards finally held their lead.

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