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Harden Scores 58 In Rockets Comeback Win Over Heat

Rockets overcome 21 points second half deficit

March 01, 2019 - 12:17 am

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- James Harden scored 58 points as the Rockets overcame a 21-point second half deficit to beat the Miami Heat 121-118 Thursday night at Toyota Center. 

It's Harden's sixth 50-point game of the season, 15th of his career, and it's the most points ever scored by an opposing player against the Heat, surpassing Willie Burton's 53-point game for the Philadelphia 76ers on December 13, 1994, as the Rockets win for the fourth straight time, improving to 37-25.

Miami got its lead up to 21 when Josh Richardson hit a three with 8:44 left in the third quarter, but the Rockets responded with an 11-2 run. Then with Houston down by just seven, Gerald Green appeared to hit another three to bring the lead down to four, but it was waived off after official Brian Forte whistled P.J. Tucker for an illegal screen. Tucker was ejected after being hit with technical fouls. Goran Dragic made both, and Dwyane Wade's layup made it an 11-point game again, and the Heat took a a 98-86 lead into the fourth quarter.

Houston scored the first five points of the final period, but Dragic drained a triple with 6:18 left to play to make it 113-103, but the Rockets, thanks to Harden took over from that point on.

It started with a floater that turned into a 3-point play, thanks to a foul on Richardson, then two possesions later Harden made all three free throws after a Justise Winslow foul. Harden then found Capela for a fastbreak layup and then his layup with 4:31 left to play tied the game. 

The 10-0 run happened with Chris Paul on the bench, but he returned with 3:43 left to play and the game still tied at 113. He drew a foul against Winslow and made both free throws to give the Rockets their first lead since the end of the first quarter. Harden followed with a layup to make it a 4-point game, though Bam Adebayo's 3-point play with 2:29 left brought Miami within a point, but Paul made another pair of free throws after drawing a foul on Richardson, and then after a Wade 15-footer, Paul pulled up for 15-feet to put the Rockets up 121-118 with 46.2 seconds left. 

Austin Rivers fouled Winslow, but the Houston-native missed both free throws, and after an empty trip for the Rockets, Dion Waiters missed what would've been a game-tying three. Harden secured the rebounds and the final buzzer sounded.

Paul finished with 14 points as did Gary Clark. Rivers scored 17 points off the bench.

Despite connecting on seven three pointers, the Rockets led by just one after a quarter, but aided by nine Rockets turnovers, the Heat outscored Houston 37-22 in the second quarter to take a 69-55 lead into halftime. Harden led all scorers with 24 points, though Justise and Kelly Olynyk scored 14 for Miami.

Olynyk and Dragic led the Heat with 21 points.

In his final game in Houston, Wade finished with 12 points. After the game, he and Paul exchanged jerseys at center court. 

Up next for the Rockets will be a trip to Boston where they'll take on the Celtics Sunday afternoon.