HOUSTON, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- James Harden led the Houston Rockets past the Washington Wizards 113-112 Wednesday night at Toyota center, making their seventh straight win entering the All-Star break.
Houston had a good start in the first quarter, taking an early 12-point lead. But in the second quarter, Washington made a few runs and once overtook the host team 43-42 midway through. The Rockets responded with an 11-4 run in the final two minutes before the halftime break, leading 63-54.
Houston continued their momentum in the third quarter, leading as many as 19 points, before Trevor Ariza made 7-of-7 3-pointer for Washington, reducing the deficit to three points.
The Wizards had their chance to win the game when John Wall gave them the lead 112-110 with a pair of free throws with four seconds left. But Ariza's foul against Harden gave Houston one free throw and a possession.
Harden hit the free throw and had a lay-up to snatch away the win from Wizards.
Harden had 35 points, six rebounds and six assists, Dwight Howard added 24 points with 16 rebounds and Jeremy Lin scored 16 points and had five assists.
Ariza had a season-high 32 points with a career-high ten 3-pointers for the Wizards.
With the hard-fought win, Houston has improved to 36-17 thanks to a seven-game winning streak. Washington is 25-27.