Wizards try to pick up road victory in Houston

The Washington Wizards have had trouble the past two 8 start as the guest tonight against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center.

The Wizards will play two straight and four of their next five games on the road and are off to their worst start away from home (0-7) since losing the first 25 road games last season. They are coming off a home win over the Charlotte Bobcats, a 92-75 triumph Wednesday at the Verizon Center in the debut of interim head coach Randy Wittman.

Nick Young scored 20 points and Andray Blatche posted 17 and 10 rebounds, a day after head coach Flip Saunders was fired in the midst of a 2-15 start. Wittman was a lead assistant for Saunders, who was just 51-130 in two-plus seasons as the team's head coach.

"I can't honestly say we needed a new voice. We just needed somebody to actually check us like Wittman did. That's what we needed," said Blatche.

John Wall netted 12 points and JaVale McGee posted six and 10 boards in a winning effort, helping the Wizards halt a three-game slide and improve to 3-15 on the season. It was Washington's second win in nine tries. The Wizards lucked out that Charlotte was minus leading scorers Gerald Henderson and D.J. Augustin.

The Wizards will also visit Charlotte before hosting Chicago, then will hit the road again for back-to-back contests in Orlando and Toronto. They didn't post their first road win of the 2010-11 campaign until Feb. 13 at the Cavs.

Houston will try to get back on track after having a season-high seven-game winning streak cut short with Wednesday's 105-99 loss versus Milwaukee in the opener of a four-game homestand.

Kevin Martin pumped in a game-best 29 points and Samuel Dalembert recorded a double-double with 13 points and 18 rebounds for the Rockets, who had also won five in a row as the host and fell to 7-2 in Space City.

"We gave up 63 points in the second half. There's no excuse for that," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale. "We had a great second quarter followed by a poor third quarter and then we couldn't ... we just never got any momentum in that game until late but when we started defending again it was too late."

A 20-0 burst bridging almost five minutes in the third and fourth quarters proved to be the difference for the Bucks, as they turned a 70-66 deficit into an 86-70 lead with 8:55 to go in the fourth. Houston, which got 18 points and eight boards from Luis Scola, dropped its first home game to Milwaukee since November 2, 1999 and was riding its longest winning streak since a 22-game run back in the 2007-08 campaign.

The Rockets will also host New York and Minnesota on the residency. The Rockets will try to keep Washington under the 90-point mark since they have won 18 straight games when doing so.

Houston defeated Washington, 114-106, on Jan. 16 this season in D.C. and got 25 points and eight assists from Martin. Dalembert had 20 points and seven rebounds for the Rockets, who are 11-2 in the last 13 matchups in this series. Washington has lost two straight, 15 of 17 and 18 of its last 21 road encounters with the Rockets.