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Tyler Herro’s 41 lifts Heat over Rockets, 111-108

The Heat climbed back to .500 with the win.

Miami Heat v Houston Rockets Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

For the third straight road game, the Miami Heat blew a double-digit lead. And for the third straight time, the Heat did just enough to eke out a victory.

And now Miami is back at .500, 15-15.

Just 24 hours removed from a big night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tyler Herro scored a career-high 41 points, including 10 3-pointers, to lead the Heat to their third straight victory. Multiple points throughout the game, a Herro 3 kept the Rockets at bay.

In addition to Gabe Vincent, Kyle Lowry, Victor Oladipo, Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon all sat out. Jimmy Butler clearly played at 0.5 times speed, though he made some key plays in the fourth quarter. Herro carried Miami to this win.

The Heat held a 14-point lead over the Houston Rockets at halftime, but a disastrous end to the third quarter saw Houston cut the deficit to one entering the final frame. Butler made his stand midway through the fourth quarter, when he stole the ball for a fast break layup and then found Max Strus for another layup on Miami’s subsequent possession. Miami went up 106-99.

On the other end of the floor, Butler blocked center Alperen Sengun at the rim. The Heat gained possession after a jump-ball, and Max Strus made a 3. The Heat held a 109-99 lead with 5:32 left.

Of course, with this iteration of the Heat, nothing comes easy. Orlando Robinson, who played 36 minutes because both Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon sat out, made a put-back layup to score Miami’s final points of the game — with five minutes left.

Butler missed both free throws on a trip to the foul line, and Butler and Herro missed multiple opportunities to put the game away. Fortunately for the Heat, Houston couldn’t completely take advantage. The Heat came away with a third straight win, 111-108, while resting multiple players.

Duncan Robinson and Max Strus each shot 2-for-11 from downtown. (To their credit, they each hit a 3 in the fourth quarter.) Udonis Haslem started at the five for Miami and missed all four of his field goals, including a couple point-blank shots. It is still easy to puzzle over why Erik Spoelstra would rather play Haslem at this stage of his career over the rookie Nikola Jovic, who did not play despite the injuries to Adebayo and Dedmon.

The Heat have strung together three wins after two embarrassing home losses last week to the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons. But all three games left much to be desired, especially considering the blown leads and close escapes with wins. Failing to score one point in the final five minutes of a clutch game isn’t a sign of success.

Miami will fly down to Mexico City to face the Spurs Saturday at 5 p.m. and try to avenge last weekend’s loss.