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Five Stars: First Blood - Heat Defeat Rockets

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Hassan Whiteside led two teammates with the top three spots in Sunday night's Five Stars.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Five Stars is a series where I use the individual GameScore of each player, as calculated by me with the help of the NBA.COM Box Score. For those interested in the nuts and bolts of how they are computed, the formula is below. This is where N=points, C=FGM, D=FGA, F=FTA, E=FTM, G=ORB, H=DRB, J=STL, I=AST, K=BLK, M=PF, and L=TOV.

(N+(C*0.4)-(D*0.7)-(0.4*(F-E))+(G*0.7)+(H*0.3)+J+(I*0.7)+(J*0.7)+(K*0.7)-(M*0.4)-L) = GameScore

Using the above formula, The Heat and the Rockets put up the following five best performers.

First Star

Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 26.8

Miami's starting center led the Heat with 33:31 on the floor, and led both teams with 25 points and 15 boards. He shot 80% from the field, making 12 of his 15 shots, a lot of them slam dunks, but only made one of his three free throw attempts. Whiteside finished with a plus-20 rating, adding three steals, two blocks, an assist, and four stitches in Miami's 20-point win.

Every day we come out we think we can beat anybody. So us being down 21 or however much it was, we were just going to keep competing. - Whiteside, who earned a cut over his left eye from James Harden

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Second Star

Dwyane Wade (MIA) 19.4

Miami's future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer at shooting guard dished out a game-leading eight assists, making six-of-six from the line and six-of-16 field goals overall. He also made two-of-three from deep, adding two rebounds and two steals to his 20 points on the night. He registered a plus-15 in 32:50.

I’ve been on plenty of teams that once you get down like that against a team that’s on fire, high-powered, you kind of let it go. But we kept fighting. And early in the season, to see some fight like that, for this unit, for this team, it’s a great sign. And we still didn’t play amazing. We just fought. - Wade

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Third Star

Tyler Johnson (MIA) 15.8

Johnson came off the bench to relieve starting point guard Goran Dragic for 21:12, and was very efficient from the field, draining five-of-seven overall and one-for-two from outside for 11 points. He missed his only free throw, but added three offensive and five defensive rebounds, with a blocked shot, a steal, and a plus-25 rating.

Fourth Star

James Harden (HOU) 12.2

Although Harden only hit two-of-15 from the floor, including 10 missed three point shots, he still earned Houston's highest GameScore largely on the strength of his 12-for-14 performance from the line, seven helpers and six boards. He also had three steals and a block in a game-high 39:06, registering a game-worst minus-23 rating with his 16 points.

You can't have a stagnant offense and not get stops. That's a sign of disaster, which happened in the second half. - Harden

Fifth Star

Marcus Thornton (HOU) 11.4

Thornton led the Rockets with 21 points, shooting 8-for-16 on the night, including five three-pointers on nine attempts. In 30:53, he also had two rebounds and two assists, finishing with a minus-15 rating.

Honorable Mentions

Justise Winslow (MIA)

Winslow had a 10.7 GameScore, which placed him sixth of all participants in the game. He made four-of-eight shots overall, including two well-timed corner-threes. along with three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

Clint Capela (HOU)

Capela started at center for Houston, opposite Whiteside. He only played 14:07 on the night, but was a perfect five-for-five from the field with five rebounds, along with a Rockets-best plus-4 rating.

The Atlanta Hawks are next into town. They'll face Miami at the AAA on Tuesday night. In the meantime, check out Peachtree Hoops. For more on the Rockets, go to The Dream Shake.