(AP) – Jimmy Butler had a triple-double with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists and the Miami Heat overcame a slow start to beat the slumping Houston Rockets 101-94 on Thursday night.
Miami won its fourth straight and handed Houston its fourth loss in a row. The winning streak comes after the Heat lost seven of their previous eight.
“We’re just gaining more and more confidence," Butler said. “We know what we’re capable of and we know what we want to do."
Butler had his first triple-double of the season and 10th overall. The Heat came close to having two players with triple-doubles, with Bam Adebayo finishing with 10 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists before fouling out with about a minute left.
Miami trailed by 13 in the first half, but used a big run and great defense in the third to take a 12-point lead into the fourth quarter. They remained up by 12 after a dunk by Adebayo before Houston used a 9-0 run to get to 97-94 with less than a minute to go.
The Heat missed two shots after that but got the rebound both times, with Butler grabbing the second one. He was fouled and made two free throws with 10 seconds to go and the Heat added two more free throws in the final seconds to secure the win.
“It wasn’t a beautiful game by any means... but we found a way to grind it out and get the win," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Miami's last three games have been decided by seven points or fewer.