By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer
MIAMI (AP) — The first half was a blowout. So was the second half.
The only difference was which team was rolling.
Down by 19 at the half and 21 points early in the third quarter, the Miami Heat used a 21-1 run in the fourth quarter to turn what looked like a bad loss into a big win.
Hassan Whiteside had 25 points and 15 rebounds, Chris Bosh scored all 10 of his points in the fourth and the Heat went on to beat the Houston Rockets 109-89 on Sunday night.
Dwyane Wade had 20 points and eight assists, and Luol Deng scored 14 points for Miami — which outscored Houston by a staggering 65-24 margin in the final 23 minutes. It was Miami’s largest comeback win since a 27-point second-half rally at Cleveland during a 27-game winning streak, back on March 20, 2013.
Whiteside made 12 of 15 shots, Tyler Johnson scored 11 points and Justise Winslow finished with 10 for Miami. The Heat got an angry halftime talk from tri-captain Udonis Haslem, and responded.
"UD," Wade said. "That’s all I got to say. UD got on us like a captain should. … It was all bleep, bleep, bleep."
Marcus Thornton scored 21 points for Houston, and James Harden had 16. The Rockets have dropped their first three games of the season — all by exactly 20 points each.
Dwight Howard sat out to rest on the first night of a back-to-back. He’s expected to play when the Rockets host Oklahoma City on Monday night.
Thornton started 7 for 9 from the floor. He made only one of his final seven shots, and the Rockets lost by exactly 20 points for the third time in as many games this season.
Rockets: Houston scored the first 10 points of the second quarter to take a 45-30 lead, and got the first basket of the second half to go up 65-44. … The last time the Rockets were 0-3 was in the 2010-11 season. They started 6-0, 12-3 and 19-5 last season. … Terrence Jones (right eyelid laceration) and Donatas Motiejunas (back pain) were Houston’s inactives. … Miami caught a break with Howard out; he has 30 double-doubles in 38 career games against the Heat.
Heat: Whiteside was 5 for 5 in the first quarter, the second time he’s done that in his career. … Miami shot 12 for 20 from 3-point range in its home opener Wednesday, then went 0 for 10 in the first half from long range Sunday. … Bosh blocked his 900th career shot, but didn’t score until the fourth quarter. … Former Heat (and Rockets) player Shane Battier was part of the sellout crowd.
HARDEN IN MIAMI
There is something about Miami that doesn’t bring out the best in Harden.
He struggled in two NCAA Tournament games at AmericanAirlines Arena, endured plenty of rough moments in three NBA Finals games there with Oklahoma City in 2012, and the regular-season hasn’t always been kind to him in Miami either.
After shooting 2 for 15 on Sunday, Harden is 44 for 117 in Miami as a pro. His two NCAA games were even worse, with him shooting 3 for 18, 1 for 8 from 3-point range and scoring 19 points in two games.
Sunday was a day for a pair of Heat milestones.
It was the 14th anniversary of the day Chris Andersen — who was inactive Sunday — became the first-ever selection in what was then the National Basketball Development League draft, going to the Fayetteville Patriots. Andersen was called up to the NBA for the first time three weeks later.
And coach Erik Spoelstra celebrated his 45th birthday.
"I have nothing to complain about in my life," Spoelstra said.
Rockets: Host Oklahoma City on Monday night.
Heat: Host Atlanta on Tuesday night.
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