Harden, Rockets down Heat

Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Bosh chose Miami over Houston during the offseason, but the Rockets have fared just fine without him.

James Harden was a rebound shy of a triple-double, tallying 25 points and 10 assists as the Rockets beat the Heat 108-91 in a battle of unbeaten teams on Tuesday night.

"We showed tremendous confidence especially in the fourth quarter," said Harden. "We got stops when we needed to."

Houston and Miami were two of four undefeated teams -- Memphis and Golden State being the others -- coming into Tuesday's showdown.

Harden, who was 10-of-10 from the foul line, is 61-of-64 from the charity stripe so far this season.

Dwight Howard posted 26 points and 10 boards and Trevor Ariza nailed five 3- pointers and netted 19 points for Houston, which is off to its first 5-0 start since opening 6-0 during the 1996-97 season.

Bosh had 21 points and eight rebounds and Dwyane Wade added 19 points for Miami, which was looking to go 4-0 first the first time since winning its first five to start the 2011-12 campaign.

"It was a very competitive game," Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We just had some unusual mental breakdowns heading down the stretch."

After back-to-back triples by Shabazz Napier and Justin Hamilton pulled the Heat within 90-86 with seven minutes left in the fourth, Ariza hit a trio of shots from beyond the arc during a 13-0 run to put the game away.

His corner trey made it 103-86 with 3:25 remaining.

Earlier, a pair of Hamilton 3-pointers in the closing minutes of the first gave the Heat a 31-30 edge following a quarter of play, but the Rockets outscored Miami 27-24 in the second and led 57-55 at the break.

A step-back Harden triple and a Donatas Motiejunas hook shot finished off a 9-0 spurt to stake Houston to a 68-59 spread midway through the third, and it led 83-77 after three.

Game Notes

The Rockets shot 51.5 percent (35-of-68) from the floor and hit 17-of-37 from (45.9 percent) from beyond the arc ... Miami shot 41.9 percent (31-of-74) from the field ... Patrick Beverley netted 15 points for Houston.