Grades: Houston Rockets 101, Orlando Magic 89 | Magic Basketball

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Mar 06

Grades: Houston Rockets 101, Orlando Magic 89

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AP Photo/John Raoux

 

Houston Rockets 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
8-16 FG | 0-4 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | -5

Afflalo had his hands full defending James Harden, who scored 31 points (including 25 in the second half). On two consecutive possessions midway through the fourth quarter, Afflalo was draped all over Harden on the perimeter. Yet it didn’t matter, as Harden made back-to-back contested jumpers right in Afflalo’s grill. That’s why The Beard is the best shooting guard in the Western Conference.

Nikola Vucevic
7-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | -7

It was Vucci Mane vs. Superman and the latter won the matchup. Even though Vucevic had a double-double, he got outclassed by Dwight Howard. Particularly in the third quarter, when Howard went on a rampage offensively on the interior and scored 11 points in the period. It was dunks and layups galore for Howard, and Vucevic was helpless to stop him.

Maurice Harkless
6-10 FG | 2-3 3P | 5 STL | 2 REB | 15 PTS | -21

It was another solid showing for Harkless, who’s been in a really nice groove on offense in the Magic’s last five games (including tonight’s game). Perhaps the most impressive sequence from Harkless came midway through the first quarter when he got out in transition, caught a pass from Ronnie Price, and finished with a one-handed tomahawk dunk on Patrick Beverley.

Tobias Harris
3-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -7

The theme of the night was the Rockets’ starters winning every positional battle. Terrence Jones completely Tobias Harris and had the play of the game to show for it. Late in the third quarter, Jones had Harris isolated on the right wing with the shot clock winding down. He made a quick crossover move, which buckled Harris’ ankles, and he finished with a layup.

Houston Rockets

Orlando was able to jump on Houston in the first quarter. The Magic played with a bundle of energy, while it looked like the Rockets were stuck in quicksand, given that they were playing on a back-to-back after a thrilling win at home against the Miami Heat on Tuesday. Then reality set in after the opening period and Houston took care of business, dispatching Orlando with ease.