Dominance at home is one of the key reasons the Miami Heat are atop the Eastern Conference.
The Houston Rockets displayed their own superiority while tying an NBA record in their last game.
LeBron James looks to continue his own superb stretch by helping the Heat beat the surging Rockets for a seventh consecutive time Wednesday night.
Miami (31-14) leads the East by a half-game over Atlantic Division-leading New York thanks in part to a 19-3 home record.
James kept the Heat rolling there Monday, pouring in 31 points while hitting 13 of 14 from the floor in a 99-94 victory over Charlotte to open this five-game homestand.
“I didn’t plan it that way, I was just attacking when I could, got into the paint and was able to make some shots,” said James, who made nine shots from two feet or closer.
James hasn’t missed much lately, connecting on 60.4 percent from the field in Miami’s last 11 games. He also had a triple-double in that stretch, and came two boards and two assists shy of another against the Bobcats.
“If he knows and feels he’s close to a triple double, he doesn’t let that affect his game,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’s not going to be one of those guys that will throw it off the backboard and try to get a rebound.”
James is averaging 30.8 points on 55.4 percent shooting in four games against Houston (27-23) since joining the Heat.
He dominated the latest meeting Nov. 12, scoring 32 of his 38 points in the second half – to go along with 10 boards and six assists – and hitting a driving layup with 19 seconds left to put Miami ahead for good in a 113-110 win.
The Heat are averaging 112.3 points during a six-game winning streak over the Rockets, and there’s plenty of reason to believe this will be another high-scoring affair considering Houston has put up 117.2 per game while winning five of its last six overall.
The Rockets’ latest performance wound up being one for the history books as they tied an NBA record with an eye-popping 23 3-pointers while pounding Golden State 140-109 on Tuesday. That matched Orlando’s mark from Jan. 13, 2009.
It was Houston’s highest-scoring game that ended in regulation since getting 149 points against Philadelphia on Feb. 16, 1993.
“Thankfully, we were just able to get a bunch of open looks and knock them down,” guard Jeremy Lin said. “That’s just the way it is sometimes.”
Lin led the way, sinking a career-high five from long range while going 10 for 16 from the floor to finish with a game-high 28 points and nine assists.
He has topped 20 points in two of the last three games, but has totaled 17 points while shooting 4 of 19 with 10 turnovers in two career regular-season games against Miami.
Lin had nine points and six assists against the Heat in November, while Chandler Parsons had 25 while hitting half of his 10 attempts from 3-point range.
Parsons scored 23 points with four steals in a 97-88 loss April 22 in Houston’s most recent visit to Miami.
He’s been on a tear from beyond the arc over the last three games, sinking 10 of 21 while averaging 20.3 points.