NBA regular season

Tyler Herro boosts Sixth Man of the Year bid, leads Heat over Rockets

Tyler Herro boosts Sixth Man of the Year bid, leads Heat over Rockets

STAR RESERVE. Tyler Herro continues to strengthen his Sixth Man of the Year campaign with another big scoring outing for the Miami Heat

Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Miami Heat also welcome former All-Star Victor Oladipo for his first game since April 2021 after a second quadriceps surgery

Tyler Herro scored 21 of his 31 points in the second quarter, helping the host Miami Heat rally past the Houston Rockets 123-106 on Monday, March 7 (Tuesday, March 8, Manila time).

Houston led by 13 points in the second quarter before the Heat went on a 23-6 run, and never trailed again.

The game marked the return of Heat guard Victor Oladipo, who played his first game since April 2021 due to his second quadriceps surgery.

The former All-Star, who played 15 minutes off the bench against his former team, scored 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting, including 2-for-3 on three-pointers.

With 1:55 left in the first quarter, Oladipo made his season debut. He got a big ovation from the home fans, who roared even louder when Oladipo drew a charge on his first defensive possession of the season.

The Heat also got another player back as starting point guard Kyle Lowry returned after missing four straight games due to personal reasons. He was held scoreless but had five assists in 32 minutes.

Miami also got 21 points from Jimmy Butler and 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds from Bam Adebayo.

Meanwhile, Herro has scored at least 20 points in seven straight games as a reserve, extending his franchise record.

Miami, which has won 12 of its past 14 games overall, improved to 23-7 at home. Houston is 7-28 on the road.

The Rockets were led by Kevin Porter Jr., who scored 22 points. Rookie Jalen Green scored 20 points, but he only had six after the first quarter.

The Rockets, who have lost 17 of their past 19 games overall, were without two of their top three starters: Christian Wood (non-COVID illness) and Eric Gordon (hamstring). In addition, Dennis Schroder, who leads Houston in assists, missed his fourth straight game due to a sprained right ankle.

Despite those issues, Houston shot 52% in the first quarter, including 6-for-14 on three-pointers, and led 32-25. Green had 14 points in the quarter, making 5-of-7 shots, including 4-of-6 on three-pointers.

In the second quarter, Oladipo, after two early misses, made his first shot in 11 months, swishing a corner 3-pointer.

Later in the quarter, Houston stretched its lead to 13 points. But the Heat rallied to go into halftime with a 62-58 advantage.

After a scoreless first quarter, Herro made 8-of-9 shots in the second quarter, including 5-of-6 on three-pointers. As a team, Miami shot 58% in the second quarter, including 7-of-9 on three-pointers.

Miami stretched its lead to 15 points in the third quarter, and the Heat cruised from there. –