The Heat suffered their first loss in nine games, falling to the Houston Rockets, 106-103 in a thrilling game. The loss drops the Heat record to 43-15 on the season.
For the Heat, Michael Beasley lead the team with 24 points, to go along with four rebounds. Dwyane Wade also scored 24 points, in addition to six assists and four rebounds. LeBron James finished with 22 points and six assists.
For the Rockets, Dwight Howard scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. James Harden finished with 21 points and 11 assists. Terrance Jones and Patrick Beverly each scored 19 points, with Jones also contributing 12 rebounds.
This was a wildly entertaining game throughout, as both teams went over 30 points in the first quarter. The Rockets took the first quarter 39-32. The Heat picked up the defense in the second quarter and held the Rockets to only 14 points, as they were able to pull to within one at the half, 53-52. Houston took the third quarter by nine, to take a 10 point lead into the fourth quarter. James hit what appeared to be a buzzer beating three at the end of the quarter, only for it to be waved off. The Heat bench rallied to force a tie game at 88 with six minutes to play, but the Heat gave up a 7-0 run to fall into a hole they couldn’t dig out of. The Heat had a chance to tie on the final possession but were unable to find a good shot and settled for a LeBron fade away three that missed wide.
The Heat looked aggressive at times, but also look disjointed for most of the game, as the Rockets repeatedly crashed the glass and found open shots at the rim. The positive take away from this game, was the play of the bench in the second and fourth quarters. Beasley and Ray Allen combined for 39 points off the bench and were the sparkplugs in the run that got the Heat back in the game.
The Heat’s next game is Thursday, as they travel to San Antonio to take on the Spurs (44-16). The tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 PM.