HOUSTON — James Harden scored 35 points as the Houston Rockets set an NBA record with 26 3-pointers and won their fifth straight game, 136-118, over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
A 3 by Gary Clark tied the record with 2:42 left and fans began chanting: “Three, three, three,” every time Houston got the ball after that. The Rockets missed their next four tries before Michael Carter-Williams hit one with 31.1 seconds left and was greeted with loud cheers. The previous record was held by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who made 25 against Atlanta on March 3, 2017.
Harden made six 3s, Chris Paul added 5 and Gerald Green and Eric Gordon made 4 each on a night Houston attempted 55.
The winning streak ties their longest of the season and comes after the Rockets lost their previous three games.
Houston had a comfortable lead throughout most of this one and seven straight points, capped by a dunk from Clint Capela, made it 111-94 with about nine minutes left.
Tomas Satoransky and Bradley Beal made back-to-back 3-pointers for Washington after that, but Harden ended the run with a 3 that left Houston ahead 114-100.
The Rockets then used a 12-3 run, with all their points coming on 3s, to make it 123-103 with about five minutes left. Harden and Gordon both made one in that span and Green capped the spurt with two, and coach Mike D’Antoni cleared the bench soon after.
Beal had 28 points to lead the Wizards, who lost for the sixth time in seven games.
Houston led by 12 at halftime and a basket by Paul left the Rockets up 80-64 with about nine minutes left in the third quarter. The Wizards used a 6-3 run, with four points from Wall, after that to cut the lead to 83-70.
The Rockets made four quick points later in the quarter, highlighted by a nifty reverse layup by Gordon, to leave them up 91-76 with about 3½ minutes left in the quarter.
Washington got within 11 late in the third quarter, but Harden scored the next five points, capped by a 3-pointer, to make it 101-85.
The Wizards scored the last five points of the quarter, with three free throws, to cut the lead to 101-90 entering the fourth.
The victory comes after the Wizards won the first meeting against Houston this season 135-131 in overtime on Nov. 26, despite a season-high 54 points from Harden.
The Wizards often double-teamed Harden in the first half, leaving others open, which led to easy baskets in the lane and a 70-58 lead by the Rockets at halftime.