NBA Game Summary - Miami at Houston
(Sunday, January 29th)
Final Score: Miami 101, Houston 95
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Dwyane Wade returned to the lineup and scored 32 points, dished out nine assists and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Miami Heat over the Houston Rockets, 101-95, at the Toyota Center.
Shaquille O'Neal added 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat, who have won two in a row and four of five. Wade had missed the Heat's last game due to a sprained left ankle.
"That was a positive note," Heat head coach Pat Riley said of his center's 12- of-18 free throw performance. "You could tell he was comfortable and in a good rhythm. When he is comfortable like that, he can make them."
Tracy McGrady had 37 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Rockets, who have dropped two in a row. Rafer Alston tallied a season-high 26 points with seven boards for Houston, which lost for the 10th time in 13 outings.
The Heat held a 23-16 lead after one quarter and extended that advantage to 40-27 when Wade drained a pair of free throws with a little more than 4 1/2 minutes to play until the break.
Houston, however, down 45-32, ended the quarter with a 9-0 burst to cut the deficit to 45-41 going into halftime.
Miami, though, quickly gained control of the game to start the third quarter. The Heat scored the first eight points of the frame to go ahead 53-41. O'Neal accounted for six of those eight points, ending the burst with a pair of free throws more than two minutes into the frame.
Later, ahead 56-47, Gary Payton spearheaded an 8-0 run to put Miami comfortably in the lead 64-47. Payton drained a pair of threes during the surge, which he capped nearly midway through the stanza.
Miami extended its cushion to 19 points, 78-59, on an Antoine Walker three- pointer before going into the fourth with a 78-61 advantage.
Houston made it interesting early in the final frame, opening it up with a 9-1 surge to draw within nine points. McGrady had six points for the Rockets during the run, which he capped with a bucket with under eight minutes left.
Alston later drew the Rockets within eight points, 91-83, when he drained a three-pointer at the 2:42 mark.
Houston then got within 93-87 on a Chuck Hayes bucket with over a minute remaining. Then, after a Wade jumper with 59 seconds left, McGrady drained a three-pointer with 26 seconds on the clock to make the score 97-92.
Wade hit two free throws on the other end, but McGrady continued to keep the pressure on by nailing another trey with 17 ticks left.
However, Wade hit both shots at the line after being fouled on the inbounds pass and McGrady missed a three-pointer with eight seconds left and the Rockets' rally fell short.
"This isn't new," said Houston head coach Jeff Van Gundy. "It's the same old, same old. We have to put in young guys to compete, so it starts with competing hard. As we compete hard, we make far too many mistakes and that's why we have the record we have. We're a mistake-laden, inconsistently competitive team."
Payton ended with 12 points and six assists.
Miami swept the season series from the Rockets...The Heat have won four of the last five against Houston...Walker ended with 10 points...Houston's Juwan Howard returned to the lineup and had 10 points after missing the last game with flu-like symptoms...Miami's Jason Williams missed his third straight game due to stitches on his ring finger.
01/29 20:21:03 ET