The Miami Heat are still the league's best team, largely because they have the league's best player. LeBron James had 38 points, including eight of Miami's last 10 points, to knock off the Houston Rockets by a score of 113-110 on Monday night.
After Houston took a 101-93 lead late in the fourth, Miami stormed back on the heels of James, who matched everything Houston did on the offensive end by himself. Dwyane Wade added 22 and Chris Bosh 21 for the Heat, who move to 6-2 on the season.
Though without coach Kevin McHale, the Rockets were in a great position to win the game. Their ball movement and team-centered play were big reasons they took the lead late in the game. Down the stretch, though, they chose to let James Harden (6-of-17 on the night) go isolation when the team needed a basket.
That strategy proved costly three times, as the Rockets were outscored 7-0 in the final minute. Harden finished with 22 points, while Chandler Parsons had 25 points on five three-pointers. Omer Asik had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Houston, which drops to 3-4.
Player of the Game: F LeBron James, Miami Heat
Who else but the King? Scoring 32 of his 38 points in the second half, he also finished with 10 rebounds and six assists, four shy of a triple-double.
He took over down the stretch and showed versatility from behind the three-point line, in the midrange game and in attacking the basket. He got whatever shot he wanted against the Houston defense, including the game-winning layup with just 18 seconds to play.
It's clear James isn't slowing down after his torrid summer, only further cementing himself as the face of the NBA and in clear pursuit of Michael Jordan's title as "The Greatest of All Time."
Up Next for the Heat
The defending champs will hit the road yet again, heading out to Los Angeles for the third game of this six-game road trip. Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the Clippers are the next team looking to take a swing at James and Co., and are off to a good start to this season. Sixth man Jamal Crawford vs. Allen will be a key matchup to watch on Wednesday in that one.
Up Next for the Rockets
Houston gets its first look at rookie Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday, when the No. 1 overall pick comes to town. It will be a good test for the frontcourt, as Davis and Robin Lopez have been a nice surprise for Monty Williams' team.