(The Sports Xchange) - Hassan Whiteside scored 25 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 109-89 comeback victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday.
Guard Dwyane Wade finished with 20 points for the Heat, who trailed by as many as 21 points early in the third period and erased a 19-point halftime deficit, outscoring the Rockets 31-12 in the third quarter.
Guard Gerald Green’s three-pointer with 54 seconds remaining in the period tied it at 75-75.
Scoreless through the first three periods, forward Chris Bosh gave Miami its first lead 85-83 on a three-pointer with 8:11 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Bosh’s conversion from behind the arc was part of a 17-0 run that ended on Whiteside’s dunk with 3:44 left for a 97-85 Miami lead. Bosh finished with 10 points.
Forward Luol Deng scored 14 points and forward Justise Winslow and guard Tyler Johnson were Miami’s other double-digit scorers with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Whiteside, a center, also had 15 rebounds.
Houston was held without a field goal for a 9:02 stretch in the fourth quarter. The loss was the Rockets’ third straight by 20 points.
Guard Marcus Thornton scored 21 points to lead Houston, and guard James Harden finished with 16 points but was held to two points in the second half.
The Rockets played without center Dwight Howard, who sat out because of a sore back. Behind Thornton’s 19 first-half points, Houston built an early double-digit lead.
Thornton hit five of six three-pointers as the Rockets converted on 9-of-20 from beyond the arc in the first two periods.
Thornton’s fifth three-pointer with 49 seconds remaining gave Houston its biggest lead of the first half at 63-42.
The Heat missed their first 10 three-point attempts and Bosh missed his first six shots.
In the first quarter, Miami rallied from a nine-point deficit to cut Houston’s lead to 35-30 at the end of the period.
Consecutive three-pointers from guard Patrick Beverly and guard Jason Terry negated the early Miami comeback and helped Houston open the second quarter with 10 unanswered points.
Editing by Sudipto Ganguly