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Rockets halt Heat's win streak
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - All five Houston starters reached double figures, with Dwight Howard leading the way with a 22-point, 16-rebound effort in the Rockets' 106-103 win over the surging Miami Heat.
James Harden tallied 21 points and 11 assists, while Patrick Beverley and Terrence Jones netted 19 apiece in Houston's fourth win in its last five games. Chandler Parsons had 10 points and eight assists in the triumph.
One night after scoring a career-high and franchise record 61 points, LeBron James was held to 22 as Miami's eight-game winning streak came to a end.
Dwyane Wade and Michael Beasley each deposited 24 points to lead the Heat, who had a chance to tie things late after an unforced Houston turnover, but James' deep 3-pointer was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.
The Rockets never trailed in this one.
Harden took over midway through the third quarter, aiding Houston on its prolonged 25-11 run to start the frame. After Parsons hit consecutive jumpers to force a Miami timeout, Harden tossed a halfcourt alley-oop to Howard, who threw it down with authority, and fed Beverley for a corner 3. Beasley then missed a trey on the other end, and Harden crossed over Norris Cole in the open floor and dunked with two hands. His pull-up jumper the next time down pushed the spread to 77-63.
Miami drew within 10 points, 83-73, after three quarters, but nearly had it at single digits after James banked in a fall-away triple at the buzzer. After a lengthy review in between quarters, officials determined that the buzzer had sounded before the ball left James' hands.
Heat reserves accounted for the first 14 Miami points of the fourth, with a pair of Wade free throws eventually tying the game at 89-apiece with 7:39 remaining.
After three ties, Houston pulled back in front for good after a Jones three- point play near the midway point of the period. Minutes later, Harden came up with a tipped ball and let go a runner as the shot clock expired that hit nothing but net for a 102-95 edge.
It was 106-100 with 34 seconds remaining when a broken play led to Beasley catching the rock on the left wing and swishing a 3-ball to cut the deficit in half. Harden's ill-advised pass to Howard went out-of-bounds with 13 seconds to play, but James' stepback 3 against Howard missed long.
Earlier, Houston led 39-30 after the first quarter and 53-52 at intermission.
The two teams meet again in Miami in 12 days ... Beverley matched a career- high with five 3-pointers ... Jones had 12 boards ... Miami starters missed all 12 of their 3-point tries. The Heat shot 7-of-27 as a team from the arc ... Houston outrebounded Miami, 46-33 ... Ray Allen scored 13 for the Heat.
03/04 23:03:27 ET