Wizards

James Harden's Rockets get hot from three and bury Wizards late in latest NBA 2K simulation

Wizards

The winners of the Wizards' 2K sims have typically controlled the glass and get easy looks in transition. Three-point shooting hasn't necessarily played a major factor in the outcome of these sims. 

Until now. 

On Friday night, the virtual Rockets, one of the league's most prolific three-point shooting teams in real life, caught fire from beyond the arc and handed the Wizards an 86-81 loss. Washington is now 7-3 during their simulation schedule. 

Let's take a look back at some of the biggest factors from this one. 

Three-point shooting

We already mentioned it, but this game was decided behind the three-point line. The Wizards went a respectable 5-for-10 from three, but the Rockets were at another level hitting 13 triples on the night. 

Houston hit as many threes in the fourth quarter as the Wizards did all game, and their 5-for-7 hot streak in the final frame played a major role in the Rockets' victory. 

Russell Westbrook and James Harden unsurprisingly hit about half their team's threes (6-for-13 combined) and three of their teammates had at least two makes from deep as well. 

The Wizards played well in this game for most of the way, but there's a reason the three-point shot is so valuable in real life. If you're hitting a bunch of them, you're a tough team to beat. 

Rui's big night

Bradley Beal was not the Wizards' main source of offense in this game for a change. It was Rui Hachimura, who scored 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting in just 27 minutes of playing time.

 

Hachimura continues to play like a rising star in these sims. If you haven't tried using him yourself in 2K after watching him on TV then you're doing it wrong. 

Huge 4th quarter for Houston

The Wizards entered the fourth quarter up 62-57, looking primed to secure another 2K victory. That was until the Rockets started making everything they looked at, going on a 22-8 run to open the fourth to take a commanding lead. 

The Wizards fought back to cut the lead down to two with two minutes left in the game, but Harden proved to be too much to handle down the stretch. The Rockets outscored the Wizards 29-19 in the final frame. 

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This would be a relatively uncharacteristic performance for the real Wizards. They would typically go down big early but fight back and use a masterful fourth quarter from Bradley Beal to get back in the game or win it altogether. 

Friday was not one of those nights. Beal only had three points in the fourth and didn't attempt a field goal during the Rockets' huge run. 

Other parting thoughts

The Wizards dominated the paint in this one, outscoring the Rockets 44-24 down low. This isn't that surprising considering Houston's full-time small-ball lineup, but we rarely saw Washington do so well in the paint during the regular season. 

Credit Thomas Bryant for shutting down the paint once again. He finished with eight rebounds and four blocks on the night. A good defensive center can make things so much easier on that end of the floor, and the virtual version of Bryant has delivered in that regard. 

Shabazz Napier struggled shooting the ball but picked up his own slack on offense by creating opportunities for his teammates. He finished with 11 points and six assists in a solid game for the veteran point guard despite shooting 3-for-10 from the field. 

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