EditorsNote: fixes typo in last graf (‘its’)
The Miami Heat scored a franchise-record 46 first-quarter points and routed the Houston Rockets 129-100 on Sunday night in Miami.
The Heat led by as many as 41 points in the first half. Miami’s 5-1 start is its best since it last won an NBA title in the 2012-2013 season.
Jimmy Butler, Miami’s biggest offseason acquisition, had one of the game’s best stat lines with 18 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and four steals.
The Heat, who never trailed in the game, also got a team-high 23 points from Duncan Robinson and 21 points from Meyers Leonard.
Robinson hit a career-high seven 3-pointers. He made 8 of 12 shots from the floor and went 7-for-11 on 3-pointers.
It was also the best performance of the season for Leonard, who was acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers in July. He made 9 of 11 shots from the floor, including 1-for-2 on 3-pointers.
Miami shot 69.6 percent from the floor in the first quarter while holding Houston to 23.8-percent accuracy, building an incredible 32-point lead in just 12 minutes.
Forward James Johnson, who missed Miami’s first six games due to what the organization said was a lack of conditioning, made his season debut, scoring 17 points in 22 minutes.
Rockets shooting guard James Harden, who led the NBA in scoring in each of the past two years, had a game-high 29 points in just 26 minutes. He made 6 of 14 shots, including 3 of 9 from long range.
Houston point guard Russell Westbrook, an eight-time All-Star and the NBA’s MVP in 2017, was held to 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting. Westbrook played 26 minutes and made just 1-for-6 3-point shots. In fact, his only successful 3-pointer was a half-court shot just before the third-quarter buzzer.
Miami got off to its aforementioned hot start by outscoring Houston 18-4 in the paint in the first quarter and also 14-0 on fast-break points, leading to a 46-14 advantage on the scoreboard.
Harden scored 16 second-quarter points as Houston cut its deficit to 71-46 at halftime. But Miami built its lead back up to 99-71 after three quarters and coasted from there.
—Field Level Media