After falling behind 22-5 to start the game, the Rockets staged a stirring comeback. But then the Heat had a comeback of their own and beat the Rockets 113-110.
Houston was led by two scorers over 20 points: James Harden (22) Chandler Parsons (25).
LeBron James led the Heat with 38 points, including a late layup that gave the Heat a 111-110 lead.
The Heat had just grabbed the lead with 18.6 seconds left. The Rockets called a timeout and swung the ball around until Jeremy Lin had a wide-open three-point look. It just didn't go in. The Heat hit free throws, Harden missed a last-second three, and the Rockets fell just short.
From the field
The Rockets shot 45 percent at 36-for-80. Ball movement was improved. Omer Asik took it up strong on a more regular basis and it paid off. Houston shot 35 percent from the outside.
At the line
Speaking of Asik, he was remarkable from the line, especially considering his history. He shot 11-for-14. The Rockets shot 26-for-33, a 79-percent clip.
Lin's bounce pass for a Parsons dunk jumps out, no pun intended. Asik also had a sweet dish for a Patterson dunk. Delfino's three's got the blood boiling in a good way.
The Rockets take on the Hornets on Wednesday. New Orleans' record is 3-2.