Miami Heat vs. Houston Rockets: Postgame Grades and Analysis

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Miami Heat vs. Houston Rockets: Postgame Grades and Analysis
Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

The Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets entered this contest with history in Miami’s favor. The Heat had won the last five matchups between the two squads, and they were averaging 112.2 points during that stretch. The Rockets are a much different team this year, but that didn’t change the fact that Miami came out on top in a 113-110 victory.

Early in the first quarter, all the momentum belonged to the Heat. Houston missed 12 of their first 14 shots, they couldn’t contain Miami in transition and they went down 20-5 just halfway through the first quarter. The momentum would switch by the end of the period, as Houston finished on a 14-3 run to bring it within six points.

The Rockets may have finished the first period strong, but the Heat were back to playing fast and efficient basketball at the start of the second. They jumped out to another double-digit lead, but the Rockets came back and cut Miami’s lead down to two by the end of the first half.

The third quarter saw LeBron James finally get involved in the scoring department, but like the rest of the contest, it remained competitive on both ends. The Rockets and the Heat began trading leads, and while the defenses didn't disappear all together, it was the first stretch where both offenses were finally clicking at the same time.

The final period saw Houston pull ahead early. They started out the quarter hot, as they were making offensive plays off of defensive stops. However, James and the Heat regained control, taking a one-point lead with less than 20 seconds remaining. Jeremy Lin had a chance to hit the go-ahead bucket late in the contest, but he air-balled the three-pointer that would have given the Rockets the lead.

For a game that looked like it was going to be in garbage time early, this one proved to be hard-fought from both sides. The Heat pulled out the win, but Houston made this one interesting almost the entire way through.

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