Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images
6-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 BLK | 6 REB | 12 PTS | 0
The newly-minted $53 million man had himself a near-flawless game against the Rockets. It helped that Houston didn’t play Dwight Howard, opting to rest him on the second night of a road back-to-back. Still, Vucevic had some impressive sequences in the first half — most notably, his one-handed putback dunk early in the first quarter. Who knew Vucevic could do that?
4-8 FG | 2-2 3P | 1 STL | 3 REB | 11 PTS | -1
Getting the nod at shooting guard in the starting lineup for a second time in preseason, Harkless played well. He was out of control on drives to the basket a few times and got stonewalled at the rim as a result, but at least he was aggressive. The better news for Magic fans was his two made 3-pointers (one which was off the dribble, which is rare for Harkless).
5-6 FG | 1-2 3P | 0 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +15
He’s not the 20-point scorer he used to be during his prime, but it’s becoming more and more obvious with each passing game (preseason disclaimer applies, of course) that Gordon has something left in the tank. Proof? He had his patented floater working to perfection (he made three of them) against Houston. That’s when you know he has it going offensively.
4-10 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +8
With 35.7 seconds left and the Magic trailing 90-89, Nicholson found himself with the ball in his hands. Unfortunately for Nicholson, he made a poor decision and threw up a one-handed hook shot from the right elbow that missed badly. Given that he was well-defended by Donatas Motiejunas, Nicholson would have been better served passing the ball — there was plenty of time left on the shot clock.
For much of the night, Orlando was in firm control. In fact, the Magic had their largest lead of the night (86-73) with 4:34 left in the fourth quarter. But the Rockets answered by going on a 17-3 run — thanks to Isaiah Canaan and Nick Johnson, who combined to score 16 of those 17 points — to finish the game and steal a victory.