Rockets 117, Heat 100
HOUSTON (AP) _ Otis Thorpe scored 9 of his game-high 28 points in the pivotal third quarter to lead the Houston Rockets to a 117-100 victory Saturday night over the Miami Heat.
Thorpe also grabbed 15 rebounds. Akeem Olajuwon added 21 points and 12 rebounds for Houston. Kenny Smith and Kennard Winchester added 13 points apiece for Houston.
Kevin Edwards led the Heat with 27 points, followed by Willy Burton with 21 and Rony Seikaly with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Houston outscored Miami 10-4 to open the second half, taking a 57-45 lead with 9:08 remaining in the third quarter.
A pair of baskets by Thorpe increased the Rocket lead to 63-49 in the third quarter. After a basket by the Heat, Houston went on a 9-4 scoring run to lead 72-55 with baskets by Smith, Thorpe and David Wood. Houston went on to lead by as many as 25 as they coasted to the win.
Olajuwon’s 11 first-quarter points lifted Houston to a 27-14 advantage going into the second period.
Miami battled back to take its only lead in the game, 39-38 with 2:44 left in the second quarter after 12 straight points by Edwards. Edwards had 17 second-quarter points.
Houston led 46-41 at the half.
″I thought Otis really played well,″ Houston coach Don Chaney said. ″What I liked is that he didn’t stand around in the clutch. He’s playing well in traffic and rebounding well. He got a lot of baskets in the transition game because he’s big and mobile.″
Miami coach Ron Rothstein agreed with Chaney’s analysis.
″Thorpe was terrific,″ Rothstein said. ″I don’t think he missed a shot against us in the first half. It’s tough for us to match up against him and Olajuwon.″
The game was Miami’s fourth in five days and Thorpe credits the fatigue factor with helping Houston.
″We knew they had been on the road,″ Thorpe said. ″With them playing as many games as they have, we thought we could wear them down. But we knew we had to make them run.
″Everything was going for me. I love the running game. It makes things happen for us as a team.″