Houston started off the game hot, highlighted by a 17-1 run in the first quarter that put them in the lead for the rest of the contest.
The Heat shot just 38.5 percent in the first half and the Rockets took advantage, by bubbling their lead to much as 25 points.
The big lead came about thanks in large part to the Rockets’ dynamic duo, who both had big games.
James Harden started the first half strong with 24 points and finished with a game-high 34 points on 9-22 shooting. The Beard connected on seven of his 17 three pointers.
Russell Westbrook also dialed in one of his best performances as a Rocket. Westbrook was lights out from mid-range and finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
While the starting backcourt combined for 61 points, the Rockets also had strong contributions from the role players.
Danuel House Jr. recorded a new career-high with 23 points on 7-11 shooting. House provided a strong presence on the wing and matched the production from Miami’s outside scoring.
Miami shot poorly in the first half but kept themselves in the game thanks to their three-point shooting.
Tyler Herro led all Miami scorers with 22 points off the bench as Kelly Olynyk added 19.
Miami played tonight without Jimmy Butler (illness) and they could have used his defense as Houston shot 46.3 percent from the field.
Clint Capela was the notable absentee from the Rockets’ lineup this evening as he was also dealing with an illness.
Tyson Chandler started in his place but played only seven minutes. Most of Capela’s minutes went to Gary Clark, who played 29 minutes this evening after playing just nine minutes in the first 19 games.
Clark did not check in until the second quarter but proved why the Rockets took a chance on him last season.
Clark scored 12 points and grabbed eight boards off the bench while flashing potential for more minutes down the line.
Tonight, the Rockets had this game from start to finish and it was nice to see a strong effort from a team who struggled in their last three games. Tonight’s victory snapped their longest losing streak of the season and it sets them up for a favorable schedule where they can turn out another winning streak.
The Rockets will look to continue trending in the right direction as they face the Hawks Saturday night. Tipoff is at 7 PM CT.