Howard, Harden lead Rockets over Heat 106-103

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 4, 2014 at 11:07 pm •  Published: March 4, 2014
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HOUSTON (AP) — LeBron James was wiped out — and it showed.

Dwight Howard had 22 points and 16 rebounds, James Harden added 21 points and the Houston Rockets held James in check Tuesday night during a 106-103 win over the Miami Heat.

James had a chance to tie the game with a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it was off — just like most of his second-half shots.

The four-time MVP finished with 22 points, one night after setting a club record with a career-high 61 against Charlotte. He acknowledged before Tuesday's game that he was "extremely tired" and that he spent most of the day sleeping.

James had 19 points by halftime, but appeared to drag at times in the second half and spent the first half of the fourth quarter on the bench. He was 1 for 7 after the break.

"I fought through it in the first half. Second half it just wasn't there for me," James said. "Got out of rhythm."

Still, the Heat cut their deficit to three when Michael Beasley hit a 3-pointer with 21.2 seconds left. Harden threw the ball away after that, and Howard accidentally hit James in the face when they both went up to try to grab a long pass.

James lay on the court holding his broken nose for a few seconds before getting up and slowly walking to the bench. He has been wearing a protective mask to protect his nose.

James remained in the game after a timeout, then missed the desperation 3 with Howard in his face.

"I knew I had to put up a heave over top of him," James said. "I felt like I got a good look — just a little long."

The Rockets used the word composed repeatedly after the game to describe their play.

"There's no need for us to get worried," Howard said of the team's mindset after Beasley's 3. "Situations like that, the best thing we can do is stay composed. If we point our finger or put our heads down, it gives the other team confidence. That's something we've been trying to work on all year."

Dwyane Wade had 24 points for the Heat after sitting out Monday night. Beasley also scored 24, a season high.

Miami never led, but tied it twice in the fourth quarter. Houston used an 11-2 spurt to take a 104-95 lead with less than 3 minutes remaining.

"We were able to push back in the fourth quarter and tie the game up," Wade said. "But we had to exhaust so much energy trying to come back."



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