The Rockets won four of their last five games to finish 22-60. Washington played without Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma down the stretch and lost five of its last six to finish 35-47.
It was the final game of head coach Stephen Silas' tenure in Houston. He won’t return in that role next season, two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.
The Wizards were up by 16 in the second quarter, but Houston had erased that deficit by the end of the third. Washington led 103-99 before the Rockets scored the next dozen points to take control.
“It feels good. It was good for us to come together and just really lock in and win that game,” Smith said. “That was real promising. It was good to finish on a good note and not the other way around.”
Houston made its first five shots of the game, but it was the Wizards who were pouring in points for most of the first quarter. They led 35-20 after less than 8 1/2 minutes before the Rockets tightened up a bit on defense.
“I came out in the mindset, be aggressive while I’m out there, not just for myself but to make plays for my teammates," said Jackson, who signed a two-way contract with the Wizards in February. "And I think the gaps that they were in kind of helped me do that.”
Tari Eason scored 16 points for Houston.
The Wizards had a huge list of players who were out: Beal (left knee), Porzingis (illness), Kuzma (right ankle), Deni Avdija (left elbow), Monte Morris (right ankle), Daniel Gafford (right ankle) and Delon Wright (right knee).
“We’ve learned a lot of lessons and now we have to figure out how to take some steps forward,” Washington coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. "But I’m proud that we were able to go through some things this year and show a ton of resilience to keep playing and competing together. That’s something that I think we’re proud of.”
Rockets: Eason and KJ Martin played in all 82 games this season.
The Rockets are one of three teams with the best odds to win the draft lottery at 14%. The Wizards also will be in the lottery.
AP Sports Writer Kristie Rieken in Houston contributed to this report.
- Eric Lewis
- Matt Myers
- Ashley Moyer-Gleich