THE FACTS: The Houston Rockets erased a 17-point first-quarter deficit and appeared headed toward a huge comeback victory over the Miami Heat, but LeBron James went to work.
James scored 32 of his season-high 38 points on 12-for-20 shooting after halftime, carrying Miami to a thrilling 113-110 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday at Toyota Center. Chris Bosh added 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade finished with 19 points and seven assists for the Heat (6-2), which earned its fifth victory in the last six games and career win No. 200 for coach Erik Spoelstra.
Chandler Parsons poured in a career-high 25 points, including five 3-pointers, to pace Houston (3-4), which fell to 1-3 at home this season. Three other Rockets reached double figures, including James Harden (22 points on 6-for-17 shooting), Omer Asik (career-high 19 points, 14 rebounds) and Patrick Patterson (17 points, nine boards).
After watching a 22-5 lead transform into a 101-93 deficit with six minutes remaining in the final period, Miami closed the game on a 20-9 run. James spearheaded the surge, netting 11 points on drives, 3-pointers and foul shots.
QUOTABLE: "It's the zone. ... I wish I could get into it more, but when you're in it, you know how you feel. You know everything that you put up or how you're going is going to be pretty good."
THE STAT: Miami grabbed only two more offensive rebounds than the Rockets, but it made the most of its second-chance opportunities by nailing 10 of 11 second shots and drawing fouls. The Heat finished with a 28-14 edge in second-chance points.
TURNING POINT: The Heat looked like it was headed toward a blowout victory early in this one, grabbing a 22-5 advantage with a run that featured alley-oop dunks and crisp defensive rotations. That did not last long, though. Led by Harden's penetration and Asik's size advantage on the interior, Houston worked its way back into the contest by earning 18 trips to the charity stripe before halftime.
TURNING POINT II: The Rockets led 103-96 with about four minutes remaining when Bosh followed two free throws with a dunk to trim Miami's deficit to 103-100. Patterson converted one of two free throws on Houston's next possession before Ray Allen drilled a corner 3 to bring the Heat within 104-103. Marcus Morris, James and Parsons continued the abbreviated version of the 3-point contest, exchanging treys to bring the score to 110-106, Rockets. James sandwiched three free throws around a Miami defensive stop to cut the Heat's deficit to one. Then, he drove through traffic for a layup that put Miami ahead for the first time since early in the third quarter. Houston's Jeremy Lin had an open look at a 3 with 9.9 seconds remaining, but it fell well short of the rim.
QUOTABLE II: "How did anybody ever question [James], looking back on it now. In big moments, this guy is the ultimate competitor. He gets absolutely amplified in these situations. ... We don't take him for granted. We know how valuable he is."
HOT: One game after matching his career best in scoring against Detroit, Asik set career highs of 19 points and 14 free-throw attempts. The third-year center from Turkey has averaged 13.3 points and 12.0 rebounds over his last four games.
NOT: The Heat could have used bigger contributions from its point guards. Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole combined for only six points on 2-for-11 shooting and handed out just five assists.
GOOD MOVE: The Rockets were committed to pushing the tempo all night, which can be a dangerous approach against Miami's superior athletes. The aggressive approach proved beneficial for Houston, however, as it recovered from a 4-for-17 start thanks to quick ball movement and decision-making that repeatedly left Heat defenders in the dust.
BAD MOVE: The Rockets routinely left Bosh open for mid-range shots in the first half, and he made them pay dearly for it. The 10th-year big man drained eight of 11 shot attempts for 16 points before the break.
QUOTABLE III: "That was a tough fight where both teams were just battling. [The Heat] got the last punch in."
-- Rockets stand-in coach Kelvin Sampson.
NOTABLE: James was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for an NBA-record 38th time Monday. He also passed Wade for the Heat's franchise record for most consecutive games with at least 10 points (149). ... The Heat has won six consecutive meetings with the Rockets. ... Miami improved to 5-0 this season and 54-2 since the beginning of the 2010-11 campaign when it makes at least half of its field-goal attempts. ...The Heat is now 3-0 when its opponent scores more points in the paint. ...Houston netted a season-high 33 points in both the second and third periods.
UP NEXT: For the Heat, Wednesday @ L.A. Clippers, Thursday @ Denver, Saturday @ Phoenix. For the Rockets, Wednesday vs. New Orleans, Friday @ Portland, Sunday @ L.A. Lakers.