for this game

Rockets, Heat put perfect marks on line

Nov 4, 2014 - 3:12 PM ( - It's an early-season battle of undefeated teams Tuesday night when the Houston Rockets head to AmericanAirlines Arena to battle the Miami Heat.

The Rockets reached 4-0 on Monday night with a 104-93 road victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Houston is undefeated, but the quality of opponents has lacked a bit. The combined records of the four teams the Rockets toppled thus far is 2-13.

However, the Rockets have handled what's been in front of them. Each victory was by double-digits and Houston has averaged 105 ppg, while allowing only 91.5 ppg.

"We struggled tonight, so we're going to have to do a lot better tomorrow," head coach Kevin McHale said after the Sixers' victory. "4-0 is better than 0-4, so I'll take that. We have stuff to work on."

James Harden led the way on Monday with 35 points, nine rebounds and five assists. He went 17-for-18 from the free-throw line.

Trevor Ariza went 6-for-9 from 3-point range en route to 24 points. He added seven assists and Dwight Howard registered a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Isaiah Canaan was the only other Houston player in double figures with 13.

Things get tougher for Houston, not just in facing the four-time defending Eastern Conference champions. The Rockets return home Thursday and play the San Antonio Spurs, then host the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

The Heat also defeated the 76ers this season and have a pair of home victories over the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors, a pair of playoff teams last season in the Eastern Conference.

"We're three games into this so it could quickly go the other way if guys start to feel comfortable and try to start to do it on their own," head coach Erik Spoelstra said, "and that's not the makeup of this group. That's not at all a referendum on our personnel, it's the power of working together that will make us more successful."

The Heat have the first Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Chris Bosh. He is averaging 25.7 ppg and 11.3 rebounds and has been spectacular early in the campaign.

Against the Raptors on Sunday, Dwyane Wade scored 19 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists, and the Heat continued their dominance over the Toronto Raptors with a 107-102 win.

Bosh tallied 21 points with 11 rebounds and four assists for the Heat, who have opened the season with three straight wins for just the fifth time in franchise history.

"It was a good win, particularly having to go through the emotions of playing a very good team," Spoelstra said.

Luol Deng and Shawne Williams netted 18 and 16 points, respectively, in the victory.

The Rockets won at home in March of last season versus Miami and that snapped a seven-game series losing streak. The Heat have won five in a row as the host against the Rockets.