Jimmy Butler posted a triple-double, Bam Adebayo flirted with one and the visiting Miami Heat erased a first-half, double-digit deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 101-94 on Thursday at Toyota Center.
Butler finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists while Adebayo added 10 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Max Strus (21 points off the bench) and Duncan Robinson (15 points) each made five 3-pointers to co-author the second-half comeback for the Heat.
John Wall sank a 3-pointer with 50 seconds left to pull the Rockets, who once trailed by 15, to within 97-94. But the Heat corralled two offensive rebounds on the subsequent possession, and Butler sank two free throws to seal the win, the fourth in succession for shorthanded Miami. Houston has dropped four consecutive games.
Wall finished with 17 points and seven assists, sharing team scoring honors with Eric Gordon. DeMarcus Cousins (11 rebounds) and Jae’Sean Tate scored 16 apiece for the Rockets, who were without Christian Wood and lost both P.J. Tucker and Victor Oladipo to injury during the game.
Miami caught fire in the third quarter, a timely development given the Rockets’ offensive struggles that period. The Heat opened the third with a 9-0 run and kept rolling, extending to a 70-59 lead on a Robinson 3 at the 3:35 mark that capped a 29-9 run that spanned 10 minutes.
Tate was the lone member of the Rockets to make a field goal in the third, shooting 4 of 5 while his teammates finished 0-for-15, including 0-for-10 from deep. Miami made 7 of 12 from 3-point range in the period.
Robinson drilled three 3s by the 9:45 mark of the first quarter but the Heat collapsed offensively when he exited with his second foul just under three minutes later. Cousins countered with two 3-pointers and 10 first-quarter points, and the Rockets took advantage of Miami closing the period missing 14 of 17 shots and carried a 29-19 advantage into the second quarter.
The Heat forged an 11-3 run to cut what was once a 13-point deficit to three only for Wall to answer with back-to-back 3s as Houston regained a double-digit lead. But the Rockets failed to fully capitalize on what was a miserable shooting half for the Heat and led just 53-47 at the intermission despite Miami shooting a woeful 34.9 percent overall and missing 18 of 22 3-pointers.
–Field Level Media