WASHINGTON (AP) _ James Harden had 24 points and Corey Brewer scored 15, leading Houston to the road win.
Rockets centre Dwight Howard had 11 points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes in his third game back from a right knee injury.
Harden only made 7 of 20 shots but went 9 for 10 at the foul line. He added six assists and one into-the-stands block of Bradley Beal’s 3-point try with 25 seconds left.
Trevor Ariza, who left Washington as a free agent after last season, contributed 13 points, eight rebounds and active defence for Houston, which led by as many as 16 in the first half.
The Wizards are fifth in the Eastern Conference and could have guaranteed themselves a place in the post-season with a victory.