Rockets rally late again, win 121-118
3-pointers from Rockets versus Heat
The Houston Rockets put their resiliency on display Thursday night as they rallied for the second night in a row to spoil Dwyane Wade's final trip to the Toyota Center with the Miami Heat. Trailing by as much as 21 points in the third, the shorthanded Rockets squad buckled down on defense and let James Harden once again do James Harden things. The result was a come from behind victory, improving their winning streak to four games. The Rockets are now 37-25, remain first in the Southwest Division and fifth in the Western Conference.
In most close games against teams with worse records than the Rockets, it's good practice to seek out their three point percentage as the likely culprit. Usually poor shooting nights from beyond the arc are what allow worse teams to remain competitive, but on Thursday night that was simply not the case. Houston shot 41.6% from behind the line, nailing 19-46. Harden removed doubt that his shooting struggles were anything beyond a stiff neck, burying 8-18 threes after shooting just 1-21 earlier in the week.
Harden goes off
With Eric Gordon, Kenneth Faried, and Iman Shumpert all out with injuries, Harden saw the need for extra offense and brought just that. In a game that featured seven of the nine Heat players that saw minutes reaching double digits scoring figures, the Rockets remained true to their season long tactic of letting Harden tear teams aparts all by himself. Austin Rivers added 17, and Chris Paul and Gary Clark each added 14, but it was Harden's 58 point, 10 assist barrage that carried Houston past Miami Thursday night. It was his sixth 50-point performance of the season, a feat no other player has matched more than once in 2018-2019.
Rough sledding ahead
The Rockets will need to build on the momentum their current four game winning streak has created heading into next week. After a week of near misses against non playoff opponents, Houston faces a slate of matchups against far less forgiving competition next week. Houston travels to Boston to take on the Celtics Sunday afternoon, followed by an away contest against the Toronto Raptors and a home game with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Rockets Player of the Game
James Harden: 58 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, 4 steals
Heat Player of the Game
Dwyane Wade: It was his last game in Houston, c'mon.
The Rockets take on the Celtics at Boston on Sunday at 2:30 pm central.