Reaction: Heat cool off Rockets as Bam Adebayo, Alperen Sengun duel

Led by a barrage of 3-point shooting, Tyler Herro and the Miami Heat (21-15) cooled off the Rockets on Monday night as Houston (18-17) kicked off its six-game Eastern Conference road trip. The Rockets had entered with three wins in their last four games, including a statement victory in Saturday’s home upset of Milwaukee.

Herro led the Heat with an efficient 28 points in the 120-113 win (box score), shooting 10-of-20 overall and 5-of-10 on 3-pointers (50.0%).

As a team, Miami made 15-of-36 shots from 3-point range (41.7%). The Rockets countered by shooting a respectable 14-of-41 from distance (34.1%), though 10 of those makes came in the first half, which finished tied. As Houston’s shooting slipped, Miami built its lead.

It was another solid night for reigning Western Conference Player of the Week Alperen Sengun, who had a tough matchup versus physical Miami center Bam Adebayo and the notoriously disciplined defense of longtime coach Erik Spoelstra. Even so, Sengun finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds on 9-of-15 shooting (60.0%). He had some issues with foul trouble (6, fouled out late) and turnovers (3), which limited his minutes and impact in the game’s early stages.

On the other side, Adebayo was excellent with 21 points and 12 rebounds, making 9-of-12 shots (75.0%). Like Sengun, he also encountered some difficulty with four fouls over his 32 minutes.

Houston stayed within relative striking distance thanks to a hot-shooting night by Fred VanVleet, who had a team-high 32 points and 7 assists while making 7-of-14 from 3-point range (50.0%).

Outside of VanVleet and Sengun, it was a relatively cold-shooting night for the Rockets. Other players in double figures included:

  • Jalen Green: 11 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds; 2-of-10 shooting (20.0%), 2-of-8 on 3-pointers (25.0%), 5-of-6 on free throws (83.3%)

  • Jabari Smith Jr.: 10 points, 6 rebounds; 3-of-12 shooting (25.0%), 1-of-4 on 3-pointers (25.0%)

  • Cam Whitmore: 11 points, 6 rebounds in 17 minutes; 5-of-8 shooting (62.5%), 1-of-2 on 3-pointers (50.0%)

The Rockets were short-handed with Dillon Brooks (right oblique strain) and Tari Eason (left lower leg soreness) still sidelined, while the Heat were without Jimmy Butler due to a foot injury.

Here’s our look at highlights and postgame interviews, along with reaction by media members and fans. Houston continues its road trip Wednesday in Chicago (17-21), where tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. Central.

Jan. 8 Rockets-Heat reaction


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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire