"We did some good stuff," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "We made some plays. ... I thought during stretches in this game we played really well."
The Heat had made consecutive 3-pointers to cut the lead to seven early in the fourth quarter when Chris Andersen blocked a shot by Donatas Motiejunas. Andersen stood under the basket after the block and taunted Motiejunas, drawing a technical foul.
Miami then used an 8-0 run, which included a 3 by Beasley, to cut it to 88-87 with 8½ minutes left.
Houston opened the second half with a 9-2 run capped by Chandler Parsons' dunk over James. Shane Battier had a basket for Miami after that, but Houston reeled off six straight points to extend the lead to 68-56.
An airball on a 3-point attempt by Wade was one of three missed shots by the Heat in that span.
The Rockets were up by nine soon after that when Harden launched a long alley-oop to Howard, who barely grabbed it in time to sail over Chris Bosh for the dunk.
Howard picked up a foul with about 5 minutes left in the first half when he ran into James as he was driving to the basket, causing him to lose control of the ball, which bounced off James' mask.
A reverse layup by James and a free throw by Wade in the last 20 seconds of the first half cut Houston's lead to 53-52 at halftime.
The Rockets jumped out to a 7-0 lead and were up 39-32 at the end of the first quarter.
NOTES: Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon, and Houston Texans stars Andre Johnson and Arian Foster attended the game, as did Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and former Astros pitcher and seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens. ... James said the best compliments he received following his big game against Charlotte came from the two most important women in his life. "My mom and my wife saying how proud they were of me and that I never cease to amaze them," he said. "So it's always great when your family gives you that type of gratitude and response."