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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Rockets edge the Miami Heat, 106-103

Career-high tying five three-point buckets by Pat Beverley

Posted: March 4, 2014 -- 10:40 pm CST.

HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- The Houston Rockets and the Miami Heat went toe-to-toe Tuesday night in front of a sellout crowd; and, the Rockets came out on top with a solid, solid 106-103 win over the Heat. Miami's LeBron James missed a step back three-point shot at the buzzer to give the Rockets the victory.

"I thought we did some good stuff," said Kevin McHale after the game. "We made some plays. TJ (Terrence Jones) went in and got a big offensive rebound. We got some stops. We got some separation on them. We played well."

The first quarter was fast and furious and filled with action as both teams shot great from the floor: the Rockets made 15 of 23 field goals (65.2%, 4 of 5 from three) while the Heat shot 52.4% (11 for 21 field goals).

The Rockets led 39-32 after the first quarter.

"We just wanted to come out with some aggression and start the game off with a bang," James Harden commented. "And, just continue to play the way we've been playing the last couple of months."

Compared to the first quarter, the second quarter was at a pedestrian pace. The Rockets bricked their way to 30.8% (4 of 13) field goal shooting and fumbled the ball away nine times. Meanwhile, the Heat shot 44.4% (8 for 18) and turned the ball over 5 times.

The Heat outscored the Rockets 20-14 in the second quarter; and, the Rockets took a 53-52 lead into the locker room at the half.

Pat Beverley nailed a three-point bucket -- his fourth of the game -- to start the third quarter scoring. Beverley's bucket kick-started a 15-4 Rockets' run to boost the lead to 12 (68-56) with 7:06 left in the third stanza.

The lead grew to 15 (78-63); but, the Rockets led by 10 (83-73) at the end of three quarters.

"We had a great start; and, a really good third quarter where we extended the lead a little bit," McHale said.

After Jeremy Lin sank a three-point shot to start the fourth quarter, the Rockets' reserves struggled; and, the Heat took advantage and pulled within 88-84 after a bucket by Heat guard Norris Cole.

Over the next few minutes, the game was tied three times (last at 93) before Terrence Jones and Dwight Howard combined for seven consecutive points for a 100-93 lead with 4:29 on the clock.

The Rockets led 105-98 with 83 seconds left; but, the Rockets didn't put the Heat away as Dwyane Wade scored a five-foot turnaround and Michael Beasley nailed a three-point shot to cut the lead to 106-103 with 21.2 second left.

Against some pressure defense by the Heat, James Harden picked up his dribble in the backcourt and, instead of calling a timeout, launched a pass into the frontcourt -- over Dwight Howard's head and out of bounds.

With the turnover, the Heat had the ball with 13 seconds remaining. After catching the inbounds pass, LeBron dribbled; Dwight Howard switched onto LeBron; LeBron dribbled back and launched the three which clanged off the rim.

Dwight Howard scored a team-high 22 points; and, all five Rockets five starters scored in double-digits. Howard added 16 rebounds. James Harden scored 21 and dished 11 dimes. Terrence Jones scored 19 and pulled down 12 boards. Patrick Beverley played great defense and sank five three point shots as part of his 19 points. Chandler Parsons chipped in 10 points with eight assists.

"I'm getting coached every day on my shot," Beverley said after the game." I work hard on my game. I work hard on my craft every day; so, I guess it is paying off now."

The game was tied three times; but, the Rockets never trailed in the ball game.

"We did a lot of really good things tonight. That was a good game," McHale summarized.

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