The Houston Rockets boasted the fact that when Clint Capella, James Harden and Chris Paul all play, they were a perfect 17-0 on the season. The Miami Heat rolled into town on the end of a 5-game road trip without Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, and 3 other players injured and although gave it a run for the money, couldn’t end the streak.
The Rockets won the game 99-90.
In the first half, the Heat used a steady dose of interior scoring and solid defense to earn a 4 point first half lead. They lead by as many as 14 in the first half but were still pleased with a lead under the circumstances. Hassan Whiteside was pretty dominate and Miami imposed their will forcing the Rockets into what they wanted. Ryan Andersen stretched the floor and kept them closer than what could have been.
The Heat and Rockets played a close game in the second half, with Houston gaining their largest lead (at the time) of 5 with 38 seconds left. It was back and forth and different people were contributing. Chris Paul hit some tough threes over Heat bigs and the Heat got good play from just about everyone.
Miami couldn’t get enough stops on James Harden and Chris Paul at the end of the game to win. It didn’t seem to be tired legs, it was just a few mistakes and opportunities not seized on the offensive end that did them in.
Trailing by 3, Chris Paul hit a jumper to go up 5, and Miami couldn’t answer and that was all she wrote. The game was tied at 88 with 4 minutes to go, but the Rockets went on an 11-2 run the end the game and win 99-90.
Whiteside led the Heat 22 points and 13 rebounds, but only 4 points in the second half. The Heat held the Rockets to 44% shooting, but couldn’t get the win. Wayne Ellington was only 3-11 from three as the Heat shot 24% from there. Houston shot 40% from three and made 15 of them.
James Harden let the Rockets with 28 points, Paul with 16 points and Capella had 14. Harden after the game said that the Rockets buckled down in the paint and forced contested threes down the stretch to win the game, and he’s right. The Heat got one basket from James Johnson in the final four minutes and everything else was difficult.
The Heat finished their road trip 2-3, not great, but also pretty banged up. They have a couple days off and will host the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.