MIAMI – Ray Allen scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter on a milestone day for the veteran, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade each scored 24 and the Miami Heat beat the Houston Rockets 113-104 on Sunday to snap their worst skid in three years.
Chris Bosh added 18 points for the Heat, who won for just the second time in their last seven games. They were down 97-92 following a 3-pointer by James Harden midway through the fourth, then finished the game on a 21-7 run.
Allen had 11 points during that late stretch, including a 3-pointer that allowed him to pass Allen Iverson for 21st on the NBA’s scoring list. It was also the 750th regular-season win that Allen was a part of in his career.
Harden finished with 30 points for Houston, which got 21 points and 14 rebounds from Dwight Howard. Patrick Beverley added 15 points and Terrence Jones scored 12 for the Rockets, who’ve dropped three straight.
Wade helped spark the run with a 50-foot assist that set up a 3-pointer from the left corner by Allen, who also made three technical-foul free throws down the stretch. One came after a defensive three-second violation, another following Houston’s second delay-of-game whistle on the afternoon, and the third when Beverley was hit with a technical in the final minute.
James hit a pair of free throws with 46 seconds left for his first points of the final quarter, and that sealed it for Miami, which moved back within three games of Indiana for the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference.
Allen took another pass from Wade to score inside with 3:31 left, giving Miami the lead for good.
Allen now has 24,370 points, two more than Iverson.
The first surprise of the day came about 20 minutes before tip-off, when the Heat announced Greg Oden – who appeared in his 100th career game, nearly seven years after being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft – would be starting at center. It was the second start of the season for Oden, who also opened a game against Chicago last month in part because James was unavailable while dealing with a broken nose.
Oden had three rebounds in the game’s first three minutes, and the Heat never trailed in the first half, going into the break with a 57-54 lead.
James had 15 in the half, Bosh and Wade each had 11, but both of Miami’s point guards – starter Mario Chalmers and backup Norris Cole – were saddled with three fouls.
Houston missed nine of its first 11 shots of the second quarter, helping Miami extend its lead to 44-33. But Houston got right back into it, first off a fortunate bounce when an alley-oop from Chandler Parsons bounced off both Howard and Jones before finding its way to Harden, who hit a 3-pointer. Jones added a conventional three-point play on the next Houston possession, and just like that Miami’s lead was down to five.
Harden and Howard combined for 15 in the third, and Houston led 81-79 entering the final 12 minutes.