Harden loaded up with 16 first-quarter points, shooting 7 of 8 from the line in the period, helping to stake Houston to a 35-24 lead heading into the second period.
The game concluded the two-game season series.
The Heat, playing in the injury absences of Dragic and Tyler Johnson, built an early 14-point lead in the season's first meeting with the Rockets, on Jan. 22 at the Toyota Center, before Paul and Harden rallied Houston to the 99-90 victory. Harden closed with 28 points in the victory, with Whiteside contributing 22 points and 13 rebounds in the loss, but also with seven turnovers.
The Heat entered having won seven of their previous eight home games against the Rockets.
The Heat were seeking to avoid only their second two-game sweep at the hands of the Rockets since 2008-09.
The Heat were coming off Monday's 111-109 loss to the short-handed Magic.
The Heat caught Houston on the second night of a back-to-back set, with the Rockets coming off a Tuesday victory in Brooklyn.
This is the last on a four-game trip for the Rockets that began with nationally televised victories over the Spurs and Cavaliers.
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