Grades: Houston Rockets 111, Orlando Magic 103 | Magic Basketball

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Apr 02

Grades: Houston Rockets 111, Orlando Magic 103

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Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Houston Rockets 111 Final
Recap | Box Score
103 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
5-19 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | -10

The last time these two teams met, Vucevic out-double-doubled the Rockets’ double-double machine. In their rubber match, Omer Asik got the better of Vucevic. Asik played a masterful game, tying a career-high with 22 points to go along with 18 rebounds. His finest work came on the defensive end, where he severely hampered Vucevic’s ability to score in the post.

Maurice Harkless
10-18 FG | 6-7 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 28 PTS | -3

That sound you hear is the light bulb going off for Harkless in his head. He’s becoming more and more assertive offensively, and it’s reflecting in his numbers. The latest example being his career-high 28-point performance against the Rockets. What stands out the most is that Harkless is actively looking to score now. That wasn’t the case earlier in the season.

Tobias Harris
6-17 FG | 6-7 FT | 11 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | -9

It was a tale of two halves for Harris. He got bullied by Greg Smith in the first quarter as he was trying to defend him on the low block. And he got off to a slow start offensively in the first half. But Harris snapped out of his funk after halftime and finished the game strong on both ends of the floor.

Beno Udrih
6-10 FG | 3-3 3P | 10 AST | 1 REB | 17 PTS | -13

After transforming into Allen Iverson against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, Udrih returned to form and did his job in running the Magic’s offense instead of shooting to his heart’s content. Udrih made things interesting at the end, making two 3-pointers in the closing minutes as Orlando tried to frantically come back from a double-digit deficit, but it was too little too late.

Houston Rockets

The run-and-gun Rockets were in such control of this game — sans James Harden and Chandler Parsons — that head coach Kevin McHale elected to sit Asik and Jeremy Lin, and play most of his bench for the entirety of the final period. It was a decision that almost came back to haunt him, as Houston had to hold off a late Orlando rally before securing the win.

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