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3 things to watch for in Wizards vs. Rockets, including whether Dwight Howard will play

3 things to watch for in Wizards vs. Rockets, including whether Dwight Howard will play

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle James Harden, Chris Paul, Clint Capela and the Houston Rockets on Monday night. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. 

Here are three things to watch...

Baby steps: The Wizards have a little momentum going. They have won two of their past three games with the lone loss coming on the road against the Raptors, who have the NBA's best record. Their two wins have been against teams with .500 records or better and Dwight Howard's return from injury appears imminent.

The Wizards haven't had a whole lot to celebrate this season, but there have been some encouraging signs in the past week or so. What they haven't done in a while, though, is put together a complete performance on both ends of the floor.

Their win against the Clippers on Tuesday required a 24-point comeback. Their win against the Pelicans on Saturday night was despite a horror show of defense in the first half. They probably won't be able to get away with just one good half of basketball against the Rockets.

Threes will be extra important: Threes are always pivotal in today's NBA and the Wizards were reminded of that in their loss on Friday against the Raptors. The Wizards gave up way too many threes and couldn't make their own.

Threes are even more vital against the Rockets, who have built a team based on them. They are top two in the NBA in threes made, threes attempted, threes allowed and three-point attempts allowed.

The Rockets will fire away from long range and make it difficult for the Wizards to get their shots off. The good news for the Wizards is that they had a lot of success against this same Houston team last season when it came to threes. In one game, they made 12 and shot 48 percent. In the other meeting, they made 18 and shot 50 percent. The latter was a Wizards win in Washington.

Rockets are playing better: Like the Wizards, the Rockets have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA this season. Though they are 9-9 and haven't been as bad as Washington, they are coming off a year in which they won 65 games and were one win away from the NBA Finals.

Houston, though, has stabilized a bit. They won five straight games before losing their most recent two. And that stretch included wins against the Pacers, Nuggets, Warriors, Kings and Pistons; all teams with winning records.

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Re-live the best games of Bradley Beal's 25-point scoring streak

Re-live the best games of Bradley Beal's 25-point scoring streak

With the 2019-20 season on hold due to the coronavirus, we thought it'd be a good time to re-live some of the best moments the Wizards had before the league suspended play.

From January 20 to March 6, Bradley Beal put on one of the best scoring stretches in Wizards history. He scored at least 25 points in 21 consecutive games, good for the longest such streak in franchise history and the longest in the NBA all season, beating out the likes of James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

Over that 21-game stretch, Beal averaged 36 points and 5.6 assists while shooting 48.6% from the floor and 40.7% from three on nine attempts per game. He only scored less than 30 points five times throughout the course of the streak. 

30+ points: 16 games
40+ points: 6 games
50+ points: 2 games

Oh, and those 50-pieces came on back-to-back nights, which is something nobody in the NBA had done since Kobe Bryant in 2007. 

All-day Sunday, you'll be able to re-live the best games from Beal's streak on NBC Sports Washington. Here's a look at what you can expect. 

When: Sunday, April 5, 9:00 a.m.

Where:

  • NBC Sports Washington (channel finder
  • Any of our 24/7 authenticated streaming platforms

9 am -- Pistons @ Wizards from January 20, 2020: Beal starts off his streak by scoring 29 points in a much-needed win over the Pistons. This game also featured Beal crossing center Andre Drummond out of his shoes. 

11:30 am -- Wizards @ Hawks from January 26, 2020: In a trying day for the entire basketball world, Bradley Beal scored 40 points just hours after Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash. 

2 pm -- Mavericks @ Wizards from February 7, 2020: Beal scores 29 and hits the game-winning layup off a perfectly executed pass from Troy Brown Jr. 

4:30 pm -- Wizards @ Bulls from February 23, 2020: Setting a new career-high with 53 points, it's hard to look at Beal as a reason the Wizards lost this one. 

8 pm -- Bucks @ Wizards from February 24, 2020: One night later, Beal sets a career-high again by scoring 55 points in what he described was the most fun game he'd ever played in. 

11:30 pm -- Nets @ Wizards from February 26, 2020: Beal gets the Wizards back on track following a three-game losing streak post All-Star break with a 30-point night against the Nets at home. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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Isaiah Thomas confident he'll get another NBA opportunity, wants to play until he's 40

Isaiah Thomas confident he'll get another NBA opportunity, wants to play until he's 40

Despite his best efforts, Isaiah Thomas did not make the return to stardom he was hoping for after joining the Wizards last summer on a one-year contract. 

The two-time All-Star averaged 12.2 points per game, shot just over 40% from the floor and 41% from three over 40 games before he was traded to the Clippers at the trade deadline and subsequentially waived. 

Still, Thomas is confident he can catch on with another team soon and that he'll play until he's 40 years old. 

"I have a lot left in the tank and my goal has always been to play until 40 [years old], and I'm going to try everything I can to reach that," he said. 

Thomas made two All-Star games and averaged nearly 30 points per game with the Celtics because of his finishing in the paint and his ability to explode through just about every defense you could think of. Not to mention he played the game with a different level of fire and grit you only see in the greats. 

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW

Coming off hip surgery, the fire was still there, but Thomas' body didn't appear to let him do the same things he did in Boston. He couldn't score inside as efficiently, so he was forced into becoming primarily a jump shooter. If his shot wasn't on, it was going to be a rough game. 

As difficult as the season was from a production standpoint, Thomas views it as a positive. 

"I didn't take any days off and that was a positive from where I was coming from," Thomas told Chris Miller on the Wizards Talk Podcast. "It had been two years since I could get better each and every day and not take any days off, and that big for me.

Right now, I mean physically, I'm great," he said. "I'm just trying to stay physically sharp as best as I can throughout this situation and what's next for me is waiting for the next opportunity in the NBA."

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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