WASHINGTON -- The Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards entered Friday night's matchup coming off difficult losses and dealing with different kinds of struggles. Thanks to a balanced and focused effort, the Wizards, at least for one game, found a winning formula.
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Wizards (20-16), who turned a nine-point lead entering the fourth quarter into a rout. John Wall finished with 17 points.
The Wizards matched a franchise record with 18 3-pointers on 36 attempts one game after Washington openly talked about selfish play hurting its cause.
"We moved the ball," Wall said. "A lot of guys in double figures. We didn't care who was getting shots. Just played team basketball, team defense. It's simple."
The Rockets, who average more 3-point attempts than any other team, were 5 of 25 from beyond the arc in the first half and finished 14 of 48.
Porter sank 7 of 11 from long distance. Washington finished at 53.4 percent from the field compared with Houston's 42.7 percent.
"They made tough shots, but our defensive pressure was not where it needed to be," Harden said. "Not just tonight, but it has been like that on our little skid, so we just have to get back to our basics and get back to what we know, how we know how to play and we will be good."
Houston arrived in Washington less than 24 hours after a brutal 99-98 loss at Boston on Thursday night. The Celtics rallied despite trailing by 26 points in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, the Wizards continued their trend of struggling against teams with losing records, falling to Atlanta 113-99 on Wednesday. Washington is 9-10 against teams below .500.
"I like coaching this team better. The other team ... no fun at all," Wizards coach Scott Brooks cracked.
The flip side of the Wizards' erratic play are better efforts against NBA contenders. That showed in the first half on both ends of the court against the Rockets.
Porter scored 14 points as Washington led 59-48 while holding Houston to its fewest first-half points of the season.
"When we play the good teams ... We come and play well with a lot of energy," Wall said. "We have to find a way to keep this going and when we play a team that is below .500 we have to play the exact same way."
Houston trimmed a 15-point first-half deficit to 72-66 with 3:50 left in the third quarter, but Washington never let the NBA's highest scoring team get closer.
Harden joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history with at least 20 points in the first 34 games of the season.
Despite Paul's return, Houston remained without multiple key contributors, including center Clint Capela. The Rockets' primary rim protector sat out for the fourth time in six games with a right orbital fracture.
"We're fine," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said of Houston's current mental state. "We have some tired legs and we're missing the big guy in the middle that gives us the force to the rim.
"James was tired tonight, no question about it. Chris just came back. We have all kind of excuses, but that doesn't work and it doesn't matter. We lost, they won and they were the better team tonight."
Jodie Meeks added 13 points for the Wizards.
NOTES: F Luc Mbah a Moute (right shoulder dislocation) and C Nene (rest) were also unavailable for Houston. Nene played four seasons for Washington from 2012 to 2016. ... Wizards F Mike Scott was not with the team after the birth of his second child. ... The two teams do not meet again until April 3 in Houston. ... Houston closes 2017 on Sunday at home with its third meeting of the season against the Los Angeles Lakers. The series is 1-1, with the Lakers taking the previous meeting 122-116 in Los Angeles on Dec. 20. ... The Wizards host the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.