Rockets 109 - HEAT 101 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
by Joe Beguiristain

The Miami HEAT fell to the Houston Rockets 109-101 Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Josh Richardson and Goran Dragić each had 30 points apiece for the HEAT.

1. Career Night For J. Rich

Although Richardson has had some great games this season, nothing quite tops his performance on Wednesday night.

From the opening tip, the 24-year-old was just on another level in terms of his approach and did whatever it took.

While Richardson attacked the basket and set up his teammates quite well early on, things really got fun in the third quarter.

In the period, the former Tennessee Volunteer knocked down all three of his treys and led Miami with 12 points.

And of course, he had a scoop.

Still, it was all about the three-ball for Richardson, as he continued to light it up in the fourth and hit a career-high seven threes on the night. Yes, seven.

On the flip side of the ball, J. Rich emptied the tank against both Chris Paul and James Harden and made things as tough as possible on the two dynamic superstars.

This block on Nenê late in the third quarter was pretty awesome, too:

When it was all said and done, Richardson amassed five assists, four rebounds, one steal and that aforementioned block to go along with his career-high 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting, including 7-of-9 from deep.

2. Dragić Goes Off In The Second Quarter

With the HEAT down by 14 points with 6:40 left in the second quarter, Dragić checked in and turned things around.

How so?

Well, the Dragon scored 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting in the period thanks to some outside shots and drives to the bucket, including this fantastic crossover on Harden and finish with contact over Nenê:

In addition to his 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting, Dragić also led the team with six assists.

3. Whiteside Takes Advantage

Even though Hassan Whiteside did a nice job of utilizing his size advantage against Clint Capela early on, his best sequence of the contest came against Nenê on this drive and slam late in the second quarter:

On the defensive end, Whiteside fared pretty well on the perimeter in pick-and-roll situations, including a few nice contests on Paul.

In all, the 7-footer accumulated 16 points, 17 rebounds, one assist and a plus-three rating.

Game Note:

-Wayne Ellington (right shoulder strain) and Kelly Olynyk (left shoulder strain) sat out. Derrick Walton Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment), Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery), Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery), Okaro White (left foot surgery) and A.J. Hammons (Sioux Falls assignment) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will wrap up their homestand against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday at 8:00 PM. Tickets for that game at AmericanAirlines Arena can be found here.

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