Houston downs Miami; Wade injures shoulder
Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Tracy McGrady scored 32 points and dished out
eight assists, putting a damper on Pat Riley’s return to the sidelines, as the
Houston Rockets topped the Miami Heat, 112-102, at the Toyota Center.
Rafer Alston added 20 points and six assists and Juwan Howard had 15 points
for the Rockets, who began the second half of their season with their third
win in four outings. Shane Battier had 12 points, Bonzi Wells 11 and Luther
Head 10 for Houston, which led for most of the contest.
Dwyane Wade scored a team-high 27 points and nine assists, but left the game
early in the fourth quarter with a left shoulder injury. He was injured when
trying to strip Battier of the ball and needed to be taken to a local hospital
Wade is not expected to travel with the Heat to Dallas Wednesday night for
Thursday night’s affair and his playing status is uncertain.
Shaquille O’Neal had 20 points and 16 rebounds for Miami, which had a two-game
win streak halted and lost for only the second time in nine games.
Riley stepped aside from his duties on January 3rd because of health related
issues. He was suffering from knee and hip conditions, both of which required
surgery. Assistant Ron Rothstein had been running the Heat, but on Wednesday,
Riley returned to not only see his team lose the game but also their catalyst
on the floor.
The Heat held the lead twice in the game, with the last coming after Wade hit
a bucket in the early stages for a 4-3 edge. Houston responded by scoring 18
of the next 24 points with Alston’s three-pointer near the midway mark giving
the Rockets a 21-10 cushion.
The lead later ballooned to 31-16 following a Chuck Hayes basket late in the
quarter and Houston went into the second with a 31-19 advantage.
The Rockets went ahead by 16 points, 40-24, when Dikembe Mutombo converted a
three-point play 3 1/2 minutes into the quarter. That lead hit 17 points,
53-36, following a Wells bucket with four minutes left and Houston cruised
into halftime with a 63-48 lead.
Miami drew within striking distance in the third quarter, but Wells three-
quarter court bucket as time expired in the third made it an 89-75 contest
going into the fourth.
Wade was injured early in the quarter and things fell apart for the Heat after
that. Ahead 97-86, Luther Head drained a three-pointer and McGrady followed
with a pair from beyond the arc for a 103-88 lead midway through the quarter.
O’Neal was hit with a technical foul for taunting Mutombo in the fourth
quarter — after dunking on Mutombo, O’Neal waved his finger at
Mutombo, in a reversal of the Congo native’s former taunt at his
opponents…Mutombo ended with 13 rebounds…Jason Kapono had 13 points for
the Heat…Houston swept the season series from Miami.