James Harden scores 41 points, Rockets beat Heat 109-101
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) goes up for a shot against Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
By Christopher Stock, Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — James Harden scored 41 points and the Houston Rockets beat the Miami Heat 109-101 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) for their sixth straight victory and 10th in 11 games.
Chris Paul added 24 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds for the Rockets.
Goran Dragic and Josh Richardson each had 30 points for Miami. The Heat have a five-game losing streak, their longest slide of the season.
Harden eclipsed the 40-point mark for the eighth time this season. He was 13-of-25 from the field, going 5-of-12 from three-point, and hit 10-of-12 free throws. He also had six assists and rebounds.
Harden scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and the Heat were unable to get any closer than 94-90 with five minutes left.
Clint Capela added 13 points for the Rockets, who are 24-1 when Harden, Paul, and Capela play.
Harden scored 16 points in the opening quarter to help the Rockets take a 35-24 lead.
The Rockets led by as many as 17 points in the first half at 53-36, but Dragic scored Miami's final 10 points of the half to help cut it to 61-57 lead at the break.
Rockets: SG Eric Gordon (back) was held out in the second game of a back-to-back. ... PF Ryan Anderson (right ankle sprain) also did not play. He was injured Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) at Brooklyn. ... The Rockets are 34-2 when leading after three quarters.
Heat: PF Kelly Olynyk (left shoulder strain) and SG Wayne Ellington (right shoulder strain) each missed their first games of the season. ... Dragic was honored before the game with an All-Star jersey presented to him by Alonzo Mourning. ... Former Heat forward Amar'e Stoudemire sat courtside.
Rockets: Host Denver on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
Heat: Host Milwaukee on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).