There seemed to be a Golden State hangover for the Rockets Monday night, but they managed to pull out the victory anyway. Houston struggled defensively early, with Miami shooting 71.4% in the first quarter to take a 33-25 lead.
The Rockets held Miami to just 17 points in the 2rd quarter. The highlight was Ryan Anderson hitting three buckets from beyond the arc. However, Houston had 9 turnovers in the first half, and trailed by 4 at halftime.
The Rockets were able to take the lead in the 3rd after another great defensive effort, holding Miami to 18 points.
The game was tied at 88 with 4 minutes to go, but that's when the Rockets closed out the game. James Harden made a 3, then a fadeaway for 2, and then Chris Paul drilled an 18-foot jump shot to go up by 5 with 39 seconds left. The Rockets scored the final 8 points in the game to beat Miami by 9.
James Harden finished with 28 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and hit 5 shots from downtown. Chris Paul put up 16 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, while shooting just under 50%.
Eric Gordon also had 16 points, but struggled from the 3-point line, missing all 7 attempts. Clint Capela shot 6-for-10, scoring 14 points, with 8 boards, 2 assists, and one steal.
To the surprise of many, Gerald Green did not enter the game. "I hated for Gerald Green not to be able to play. Rotations are what they are, you better make hay when you're in there," Mike D'Antoni said after the game.
The Rockets are on a 3-game winning streak, and will travel north on Wednesday to take on Dallas.