MIAMI, FL (Sporting Alert) — The Houston Rockets handed the Miami Heat their first defeat of the season, while the Los Angeles Lakers dropped to 0-5 with another defeat on Tuesday.
In the highlighted early season clash on the night, James Harden collected 25 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds and two blocks in the Rockets’ 108-91 victory over the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Dwight Howard scored 26 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and Trevor Ariza added 19 points, five assists, five boards and three steals for Houston (5-0), which secured its fourth road win this season.
Patrick Beverley also scored 15 points for the Rockets, who have impressively won all five of its opening games by double digits.
Next up for Harden and the Rockets is the defending champions San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night in Houston.
“We always want the test,” Harden said. “Our next game against San Antonio in Houston is going to be a test as well.
“We’re going to approach every game the same way — both ends of the floor make sure we’re together.”
Chris Bosh led the way with 21 points and eight rebounds for Miami (3-1), which dropped its first game of the season. The defeat means that there is no more undefeated teams left in the Eastern Conference.
“That’s tough at the end,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
“Probably more mental breakdowns than anything else physically going down the stretch.
“You do have to credit them. They don’t make it easy. They have a high-octane offense.”
Dwyane Wade added 19 points and Shawne Williams and Mario Chalmers each scored 12 in the defeat for the Heat, which continue to be without Danny Granger (hamstring), Chris Andersen (ribs) and Udonis Haslem (quad).
At the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 39 points and pulled down nine rebounds, but couldn’t prevent the Lakers from dropping to 0-5 on the season, following a 112-106 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Bryant played 44 minutes and went 14-of-37 from the floor, but his efforts were not enough as the LA Lakers suffered their first five-game losing start since the 1957-58 term when the team was in Minneapolis.
Gerald Green scored 26 points to lead Phoenix (3-1) off the bench, while Markieff Morris finished 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Isaiah Thomas added 22 points.
Jeremy Lin scored 18 points for the Lakers, with Jordan Hill grabbing 15 points and 15 rebounds and Carlos Boozer scored 13 points in the defeat, as the hosts suffered their third defeat of the season at home.
Damian Lillard scored a game-high 27 points and dished out seven assists and pulled down six rebounds in the Portland’s 101-82 win over an untidy Cavs team.
“It’s the same game that I have been playing,” Lillard, who went 6-for-13 from the floor and 5-for-10 from three-point range, said. “The only difference was the shots went in.”
Wesley Matthews scored 21 points, Robin Lopez had 19 and LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 16 in the victory.
Kevin Love paced the Cavaliers (1-2) with his third straight double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds, but LeBron James and Kyrie Irving combined for just 20 points on 7-of-29 shooting.
James finished with 11 points and Irving had just nine in the defeat for the Cavs.
“It’s like building a car from scratch,” James said of the Cavaliers’ early season team chemistry. “I’ve done that before.
“I hated the process, it got on my nerves. I sent it back to get repainted 100 times. But once it was completely finished I was excited about it.”
NBA SCORES AND RESULTS
Houston Rockets 108 (5-0) – Miami Heat 91 (3-1)
Washington Wizards 98 (3-1) – New York Knicks 83 (2-2)
Toronto Raptors 100 (3-1) – Oklahoma City Thunder 88 (1-4)
Phoenix Suns 112 (3-1) – Los Angeles Lakers 106 (0-5)
Chicago Bulls 98 (3-1) – Orlando Magic 90 (0-4)
New Orleans Pelicans 100 (2-2) – Charlotte Hornets 91 (1-3)
Milwaukee Bucks 87 (2-2) – Indiana Pacers 81 (1-3)
Portland Trail Blazers 101 (2-2) – Cleveland Cavaliers 82 (1-2)