Beginning Tuesday, Houston was wrapping up its seven-game gauntlet with three road games, looking to extend its five-game winning streak.
They come home, instead, with their first three-game losing streak of the season after falling in Miami 113-104.
Houston lost for the first time in 2014 when scoring over 100 points, mainly because essentially once they got there, they totally shut down offensively. Pat Beverley knocked in a 3-pointer to put Houston up 102-98 with under five minutes remaining in the game. But the Heat had the lead less than a minute late and made four of their next five shots to pull away from Houston late.
LeBron James did not his a shot in the fourth quarter for the second time in as many games this season versus Houston, but he held a plus/minus rating of (plus-16) in the period helping the Heat split the season series with Houston.
James Harden led the Rockets with 30 points and Dwight Howard added 21 points and 14 rebounds, but neither scored in the game's final five minutes.
The game was over when
After the Rockets took a 102-98 lead at the 4:26 mark of the fourth quarter, they were correctly assessed a technical foul for the second delay of game call when Dwight Howard tapped the ball to the referee after Beverley made a 3-pointer. Houston missed its next six shots and consistently had breakdowns defensively as the Heat went on a 15-0 run to take control of the game.
Highlight of the night
Houston had the ball out of bounds under its own basket with just eight seconds left before halftime. Beverley took the inbound pass, went the length of the court, saw an opening down the middle of the lane and threw down a monster, one-handed jam right on Heat forward Chris Bosh to draw the Rockets within 57-54 at the half.
Numbers of the night
Houston made 19-of-26 free throws through three quarters, but were just 2-of-2 in the fourth quarter. Those free throws didn't come until six seconds remained in the game.
Houston hosts the Utah Jazz Monday night at Toyota Center. It will conclude their 17th set of back-to-back games this season, leaving just three more sets. It will be the first and only meeting between the two teams in Houston this season after the teams split a pair of games in Utah.
Houston came back from a 19-point deficit in their first meeting to win 104-93, but fell to Utah 109-103 in their second meeting, after similarly falling behind by double-figures. Houston played that second meeting without Chandler Parsons (back) and Jeremy Lin (knee). The Rockets have a modest two-game winning streak at home against the Jazz.