HOUSTON – James Harden scored 34 points, Russell Westbrook had 27 and the Houston Rockets snapped a three-game skid with a 117-108 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
Houston led by double digits for most of this one after the Heat used a 46-point first quarter in a 129-100 rout Nov. 3 in the first meeting between the teams this season.
Kelly Olynyk scored six straight points to get the Heat within 10 with about a minute left. Harden made a free throw after that and Goran Dragic made one for the Heat. There was a bit of a scuffle after a hard foul by Dragic on Danuel House with about 30 seconds remaining. It was reviewed and upgraded to a flagrant 1 foul and House received a technical foul for his reaction after the foul.
Tyler Herro had 22 points and Olynyk scored 19 points with leading scorer Jimmy Butler out with an illness.
House had 23 points and Westbrook had nine rebounds and seven assists.
Herro scored five straight points for Miami to cut the lead to 17 with about 9 1/2 minutes left. But he turned the ball over on a bad pass after that and House finished with a dunk on the other end to lead Houston up 96-77.
The Heat used a 10-3 run, with four points from Justise Winslow, to get to 103-91 with about 5 minutes left. Harden, who finished with seven 3s, made an off-balance 3-pointer from the corner before the Heat got one from Olynyk.
A layup by Herro cut the lead to 13 with less than three minutes left before Houston used a 5-2 run with a 3 from House to make it 114-98.
Houston led by at least 20 for most of the third quarter and pushed the lead to 86-62 with a dunk by Ben McLemore with about two minutes left in the third quarter. The Heat used a 6-2 spurt, with 3s from Olynyk and Herro, to cut the lead to 20. But Houston scored the last three points of the quarter to take a 91-68 lead into the fourth quarter.
After coming out flat in a 137-123 loss to Dallas on Sunday, the Rockets started strong on Wednesday. Harden and Westbrook combined for 42 points in the first half as they built a 66-42 lead.