NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Miami 32 37 29 20 118
Houston 33 22 31 35 121
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CTNaN:� , February 28, 2019
Toyota Center, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 18,119

Rockets face more injury issues ahead of Heat

According to STATS
According to STATS

Miami Heat at Houston Rockets

  1. Miami and Houston meet tonight with both teams on the second leg of a back-to-back. The Heat have gone 4-4 in such games this season, losing their last two, while the Rockets have gone 5-3, winning their last two.
  2. The Heat beat the Warriors last night, 126-125, thanks to a Dwyane Wade game-winning buzzer-beater three. It was their first home win since January 12, snapping a six-game losing streak in Miami.
  3. Wade made five three-pointers in the game, his second game with at least five triples this season, tying the most such games in any season in his career.
  4. The Rockets have won three straight games after dropping their previous two. They have scored at least 115 points in each of the wins after failing to reach that mark in either of the two losses -- Houston has gone 22-4 (.846) this season when scoring 115+ compared to 14-21 (.400) otherwise.
  5. James Harden scored 30 points in the win, but connected on only 1-of-11 three-point attempts. Harden has three career games with 30 points and one or fewer made threes on at least 10 attempts -- no other player in the history of the league has more than one such game in his career.
  6. Houston gets a league-leading 76.5 percent of its points from its starters. Meanwhile Miami gets 41.0 percent of its points from its bench unit, fifth most in the NBA.

Things apparently were too idyllic for the Houston Rockets, whose season has been largely hamstrung by an endless succession of injuries to key components of their primary rotation.

Armed with a full complement of bodies for the second time in as many games, the Rockets on Wednesday entered Charlotte not only fully healthy, but capable of tinkering with personnel packages with the aim of uncovering a grouping that might spark a postseason push.

But then they lost Kenneth Faried (hip) and Iman Shumpert (calf) to injuries and were left scrambling against the Hornets, pulling out a 118-113 victory riding the efforts of their usual suspects.

When the Rockets host the Miami Heat on Thursday at Toyota Center, they will do so with the same lineup uncertainty that has plagued them throughout the season. Houston has survived thus far by manipulating its roster effectively enough to stay in position to claim home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

"We know how important these last 22 games 1/8including Wednesday's win 3/8 are," said Rockets guard James Harden, who scored a team-high 30 points despite continuing his shooting slump from the 3-point line. "It's for seeding, it's for opportunities to put yourself in position to get ready for the postseason."

Harden, who had his streak of consecutive 30-point games snapped at 32 on Monday against the Atlanta Hawks, finished 1 for 11 from behind the arc and is just 3 for 31 on 3s over his past three starts. The Rockets have relied on supporting personnel to shoulder the scoring load, with four others reaching double figures against Charlotte. Six Rockets scored in double figures against the Hawks and, in their victory over Golden State last Saturday without Harden, three Rockets posted 20-plus points.

Even with their roster compromised in Charlotte, the Rockets still had enough in reserve. How much of an asset their depth will be down the stretch remains linked to player availability.

"The biggest thing for us is we've got to stay healthy," Rockets guard Chris Paul said. "We feel like we've got a chance to play with anybody as long as we've got our full team."

The Heat needed a buzzer-beating 3-point bank shot from Dwyane Wade to record a 126-125 victory over the Warriors on Wednesday and snap their 3-game losing skid. Miami had dropped 9 of 11 games before rallying against Golden State, which erased a 24-point deficit to grab a late lead.

Wade finished with 25 points. The buzzer-beater was the fifth of his career and first since 2009.

Even with their recent struggles, the Heat closed to within a half-game Charlotte for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. But the road to the playoffs is arduous for Miami, at least over the next month, with the Heat scheduled to contest 10 of their next 12 games against teams currently in position to make the playoffs.

"We just can't let go of the rope," Wade said. "And we've got a tough schedule. It's no secret, right? It's out there. But you come in and you take it one game at a time. And that's all we can continue to do."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 28, 2019

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