- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 28, 2010

HOUSTON | It’s a humble milestone, though one the Houston Rockets are glad they finally reached.

Kevin Martin scored 20 points, Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks each added 15 and the Rockets got back to .500 with a 100-93 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday.

Luis Scola had 14 points and Jordan Hill added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Rockets (15-15), who’ve won five in a row and eight straight home games heading into Wednesday’s showdown against Miami.

Houston started the season 3-10 and lost Yao Ming and Brooks to serious ankle injuries along the way. Coach Rick Adelman had started talking about getting the record back to even, and building from there.

Now, finally, the Rockets can focus on bigger things.

“From where we started, we should feel good about our road back to .500,” Martin said. “It’s not actually being at .500, because for the season, we have better goals than that. Our road back to .500, the way everybody is playing, that’s what we should feel relieved about.”

Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points and Andray Blatche had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Wizards, who dropped to 0-15 on the road this season. Washington has lost 10 of 11 overall.

“When a team does things quickly against us, we seem to have problems,” coach Flip Saunders said. “It’s frustrating. We have to keep this group together and get better as a team.”

Brooks and Martin hit consecutive 3-pointers around the 2-minute mark to put away the stingy Wizards, who led by as many as 10.

Brooks was playing his fourth game since missing the previous 21 with a sprained left ankle. He went 5-for-15 from the field and missed his first four 3-point tries before connecting with 2:21 left to put Houston ahead for good.

“When I saw it, it was time to go up,” Brooks said. “Now or never.”

Washington led 73-68 after three quarters. Nick Young then sank two free throws and Houston native Rashard Lewis hit a jumper from the free throw line in the first minute of the fourth quarter to stretch the lead to nine.

Washington led by seven when Chase Budinger deflected Josh Howard’s shot to Brooks, who flipped an alley-oop pass to Courtney Lee for a layup with 8:16 left.

Brooks was fouled on a 3-point try and sank all three free throws to cut the Wizards‘ lead to two, and Battier swished his second 3-pointer with 6:37 to put Houston ahead 87-86.

The lead traded hands three times over the next three minutes, and Martin landed hard on his right knee when he was fouled by John Wall trying to finish a fast break. Martin calmly sank two free throws with 2:48 left to give Houston a 94-93 lead.

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