HOUSTON: Dwight Howard scored 22 points, grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds and defended LeBron James on a missed final shot that gave Houston a 106-103 NBA victory on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) over Miami.
One night after James scored a career-high 61 points, the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player managed only 22 as the Rockets snapped the defending NBA champion Heat’s eight-game win streak.
James Harden added 21 points and a game-high 11 assists while Patrick Beverley and Terrence Jones scored 19 points each and Chandler Parsons added 10 points and eight assists for the Rockets.
Dwyane Wade and reserve Michael Beasley each scored 24 points to lead Miami, which made a 16-3 run in the fourth quarter to equalize at 91-91.
Houston scored the next seven points and were never caught again, although Beasley sank a 3-pointer to pull Miami within the final margin.
The Rockets responded with a long pass up the court to Howard that went out of bounds while James leaped to challenge Howard and was elbowed in the face by the Houston star.
James grabbed his face as he fell to the court but moments later, after the Heat took over for a final shot and the ball went to James, who was guarded by Howard beyond the 3-point arc.
As time ticked down, James launched a 3-pointer over the outstretched arm of Howard that missed at the final buzzer.