MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — The Miami Heat struggled in the second half and couldn’t keep up with the visiting Houston Rockets.
James Harden had 25 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, Dwight Howard added 26 points and 10 boards, and the Rockets stayed unbeaten, beating the Heat 108-91 on Tuesday night.
Trevor Ariza added 19 points for the Rockets, who used a 13-0 run late in the fourth quarter to pull away. Patrick Beverley scored 15 for Houston (5-0).
Chris Bosh scored 21 points for Miami (3-1). Dwyane Wade added 19 for the Heat, with Shawne Williams and Mario Chalmers each scoring 12 and Luol Deng finishing with 11.
The Rockets outscored Miami 25-14 in the final quarter. Houston went 17 for 37 from 3-point range and now has 213 points from beyond the arc this season — as opposed to 198 points on 2-point baskets.
A 17-8 run by the Rockets closed the half and gave Houston a 57-55 lead at intermission. The run continued in the third.
Houston scored 18 points in a 4½-minute stretch that was capped by three 3-pointers in 66 seconds — the last two by Beverley, helping the Rockets turn a tied game into a 77-64 lead.
Miami ripped off 10 straight points to get within 83-80 early in the fourth, and 3s from Justin Hamilton and Shabazz Napier cut Houston’s lead to 90-86 with 7 minutes left.
But Ariza hit a 3, Harden laid in his own miss and then Ariza — over the outstretched arm of the 7-foot Bosh — made a high-arcing 3 to put Houston up 12 and in control for good.
Rockets: Beverley missed Monday’s game in Philadelphia with hamstring pain but showed no ill effects. … F Donatas Motiejunas started because Terrence Jones (knee) was out. … The Rockets were one of two teams with four road games in the first eight days, along with Oklahoma City. Houston plays eight of its next 11 at home. … Harden was 10 for 10 from the line in the first half, doing that for the second time in his last three games.
Heat: Miami was without Danny Granger (hamstring), Udonis Haslem (quad) and Chris Andersen (ribs). … Heat President Pat Riley sat with his former point guard, Magic Johnson. … Miami doesn’t plan to significantly increase Josh McRoberts’ minutes until he gets more practices. McRoberts is coming off a toe injury. … Hamilton, who had three 3-pointers in his career entering the night, made three, including two in a 19-second span of the first quarter.
Rockets: Host San Antonio on Thursday.
Heat: Visit Charlotte on Wednesday.
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