Skip to content

Heat execute in final minutes, Rockets still learning, fall in Miami

Mar 16, 2014, 7:41 PM EDT

Houston Rockets v Miami Heat Getty Images

Midway through the third quarter you had to like how the Rockets were playing against the Heat in Miami.

Tied 92-92, the Rockets got what seemed like their 5,347th floater in the lane of the night, this time it was Chandler Parsons over Chris Andersen. The Rockets players did not fear the Heat shot blockers all night. At the other end, Chris Bosh missed a clean look at a three then Birdman missed a clean tip, Dwight Howard pulled in the rebound and threw the outlet to James Harden who pushed it up one-on-three, then pulled up and knocked down a three. It was is 97-92 Rockets.

Everything went south for Houston soon after.

Miami closed the game on a 15-0 run as they executed and attacked, while the Rockets took poor shots and seemed when a couple bad calls didn’t go their way fell apart. The result was a 113-104 Heat victory.

Miami needed this win, having lost five of six coming in and even with the win they are three games back of Indiana for the top spot in the West. Now the Heat get three of four against sub-.500 teams and a chance to try and chase down that record.

Four Houston it was another game with fantastic offense much of the night but not enough defense or execution when it mattered.

Rockets fans will be quick to point to some bad calls — and there were. LeBron should have been called on a pick for holding Jeremy Lin. The technical foul on Patrick Beverly after a hard but clean foul on LeBron was ridiculous. You know what good teams do in that situation? Put it behind them and overcome it.

It’s games like this where we’re reminded that this Rockets team is young and still learning how to win together. Lessons that will get furthered in the playoffs (where they still should make the second round but need to defend more consistently).

For the first time since he shed the mask LeBron was aggressive again and finished with 24 points on 8-of-17 shooting. He wasn’t sharp, however, with five turnovers to go with his five assists, and you can credit Chandler Parsons and the Rockets defense for that.

But with the attention on LeBron it left Dwyane Wade to attack James Harden — 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting — and Ray Allen to shoot over everyone and score 25 points on 7-of-11 from the floor (4-of-6 from three). Chris Bosh added 18 points on 12 shots and played well.

Harden had 30 points to lead the Rockets, Howard added 21 points and 14 rebounds.

But they came apart at the end.

It started with 4:26 left and the Rockets up 102-98 — after a made basket by Beverly Howard tipped the ball to the official, and was assessed a delay of game, the second one so it led to a technical. By the letter of the rule and how the league has called it all year that is a delay of game — technically Miami could have taken the ball out faster because of what Howard did, you don’t have to like the rule (I don’t, it should only be called when trying to slow the other team up from inbounding the ball) but the league has called it that way all season.

After that Houston was a mess on both ends.

First Wade attacked Harden off the dribbled and scored. Miami’s pressure defense then never let the Rockets get off a good shot and the result was a Chandler Parsons prayer that was not answered. Then Allen got wide open underneath for a lay-up — this is the pick where James held Lin, but even if he doesn’t Lin will be late arriving (LeBron is a big screen) and Parsons didn’t recognize it and cut off the passing lane. Jeremy Lin then chose a poor time to just chuck a three. Ray Allen didn’t miss his three at the other end.

And so it goes. The Rockets shoot 0-of-6 down the stretch and the one good look — a Harden lay-up attempt off penetration — rimmed out. Miami just kept making plays.

It was a rough week for the Rockets, losing to the Thunder, Bulls and now Heat on the road. But that’s how you learn lessons, and the teams that persevere through it become better, become contenders down the line.

  1. miamiheatles - Mar 16, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Dwyane Wade is 100% healthy. Putting the league on notice. His worse days are behind him.

    • cantonbound13 - Mar 16, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      PEDs

    • kb2408 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:13 AM

      Dude, Wade is on the other side of 30…with bad knees, his “best” days are behind him.

    • cruzan80 - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      “His worse days are behind him”

      That literally made me LOL.

  2. rodge1 - Mar 16, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    There were calls that went against Miami too. For example Harden pushing Chalmers into a Rockets’ player and Chalmers being called for a foul.

    • casualcommenter - Mar 16, 2014 at 9:48 PM

      Houston fan here. We were defeated by our own stupid mistakes down the stretch, and the Heat out-executing us. It’s a cop out to complain about two semi-questionable technical fouls down the stretch and a missed illegal screen foul call and ignore the other problems.

      In the playoffs, against teams like OKC and the Clippers, questionable calls ARE going to go against us. That’s a certainty. If we can’t deal with it mentally, we’re not going to go far.

      • abchome - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:36 AM

        In the playoffs, against teams like OKC and the Clippers, questionable calls ARE going to go against us…

        I hope you’re right! But I’d never underestimate Harden though. lol

      • phillieseaglessixersflyers - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        There was a stretch where houston didnt score for over 3 minutes as well. That really hurt them

  3. miamatt - Mar 16, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Nice win for the Heat after a rough couple of weeks. I’d like to see more consistent defense for all four quarters, but they clamped down in the clutch. Ray Allen and Dwayne Wade were just straight murder today.

    For the Rockets, there really is no shame in losing at OKC, Chicago, and Miami. The NBA regular season is a looooong one, and every team has moments like this. I do believe that OKC and the Spurs will have a clear edge over the Rockets (and everybody else) come postseason due to their experience, but the Rockets are coming. I’d be thrilled with this team if I were a Houston fan. They are a fun team to watch and have so many young pieces. Plus, who doesn’t love the fact that Kevin McHale is coaching a really good team? Gotta love basketball gods of old staying a part of the game.

  4. bballhistorian - Mar 16, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    Rockets don’t need a “3rd piece”.

    Rockets need Dwight to STEP IT UP.

    Him and Harden need to watch some old Kobe/Shaq footages so they know how to win vs elite teams down the stretch, come playoff time.

    • smoothaswilkes - Mar 16, 2014 at 10:16 PM

      Haha, Dwight is never going to be Shaq. He has no post game, at all. But come the playoffs, you can bet teams will Hack-a-Shaq Dwight at the end of every game. So, I’d say, yes, they could probably use a third piece. And a fourth, like Ray Allen.

      • kb2408 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:27 AM

        I think we can all put the D12 comparisons to Shaq away for good now. For a 3 year period (2000-2003) when the LAKERS were threepeating, Shaq was the baddest man on the planet. He ran roughshod over opposing centers. Dwight never has been on Shaq’s level and never will be.

    • kb2408 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:21 AM

      How much more can he “step it up”? I can’t even clown Dwight for his effort today. He was mostly outstanding. He was pretty much at his best. He put up numbers that are better than his career averages. So, if Houston fans are waiting for him to step it up, it probably ain’t happening. Harden and Howard were great, blame the supporting players for this loss. Turnovers and soft defense is why Houston will not get past the 2nd round.

      • fanofthegame79 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        I agreed with your post about Dwight never being Shaq…and I agree with you here: these are Dwight’s career averages (for the most part) – he’s a 20/12 center. Which is really good for today’s NBA, but no where near a top center of the past.

  5. jbeagles23 - Mar 16, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    I have always hated when a player on a team who just made a basket intentionally touches the ball. I’m glad it’s getting called more.

  6. miamiheatles - Mar 16, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    People 4 get Kobe and Tim Duncan had some nagging injuries as they got older. They overcame it. Wade has as well.

    • kb2408 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:45 AM

      That goes both ways…there are many players that did not overcome knee problems than those that did. Wade doesn’t have to go back to “Flash” days to be a good player. What he needs to do is adjust his game as he gets older and losses athleticism. Kobe and MJ both did it. I reference those two because they play…or played…the same position Wade plays. The difference is Wade is not as tall as the other two nor can he shoot as well. He does not have the range of Kobe nor the inside game of MJ. Players like Kobe and Duncan are rare. Kobe was 1st team All-NBA his last full season and had arguably his best season. And Duncan is simply one of the truly great players ever. His game never revolved around his athleticism. Kobe and Duncan are two of the most fundemrntally sound players ever. You can also add Dirk to that category. Barring major injuries those players can all be really good until they’re in their late 30′s. I’m not so sure we can say that about Wade.

  7. fraudguy - Mar 16, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    “Miami needed this win, having lost five of six coming in and even with the win they are three games back of Indiana for the top spot in the West.”

    Miami and Indiana changed conferences?

  8. shaggytoodle - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:54 AM

    When you have guys in the past like Donaghy’s crew. It is unsettling for me to see foolish calls or non-calls go heavy one way.

    I love watching sports, but the its hard for me to believe in the NBA at times, I tune in to a couple games a month, I would love to watch more, but when I tune in and see stuff at the end of this game, I am reminded why I lost some of my fanhood.

  9. jbeagles23 - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    I feel officials in the nba are too old to compete with these athletes and sometimes make calls to give themselves a break. You’ll often see the furthest official away from the ball with their vision blocked by three players make a call that two other refs beside the play don’t call.

  10. 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    The reason for the Defensive 3 seconds is because the Heat’s bugs force the other team’s Center out away from the basket. Dwight felt like he didn’t want to get out from under the basket. Should the refs just let Dwight Howard camp out under the basket not guarding anyone? Especially in crunch time?

    This is why I can’t stand PBT anymore. The guys on #Heattwitter are so much better.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Stephenson goes elsewhere for his future
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Love (4981)
  2. L. James (3677)
  3. A. Wiggins (3657)
  4. E. Bledsoe (3345)
  5. R. Allen (3267)
  1. K. Bryant (3125)
  2. D. Rose (2967)
  3. C. Boozer (2950)
  4. L. Stephenson (2864)
  5. J. Smith (2461)