Houston Rockets 108 Orlando Magic 104
The Positives: The Rockets improve to 3-1 in the pre-season as they slowly pulled away from the Magic. With Chandler Parsons sitting out to rest, and Jeremy Lin not available, the Rockets received steady production from all across the board. James Harden lead the way, scoring 21 points in 17 minutes, while Dwight Howard finished with 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 17 minutes. Francisco Garcia, starting in place of Parsons, hit 3 of 5 threes, and scored 11 points in 25 minutes, and Patrick Beverley scored 13 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 26 minutes.
Both Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones played well off the bench; Motiejunas scored 14 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in 24 minutes, and Jones finished with 10 points in 18 minutes. The 3-point touch was in tact, as the Rockets hit 15 of 36 (42 percent) from behind the arc, and held the advantage on fast-break points, 21-15.
The Negatives: There still remains an unclear answer at the power forward position. Omri Casspi received his chance to get the start at the 4-spot and played his worst game of the pre-season, scoring just 6 points on 2 of 10 shooting in 30 minutes. The Rockets lead by as many as 15 points with just over 7 minutes left in the game, but were outscored 13-24 to close out the game.
The Magic comeback attempt was lead by E’Twuan Moore, who scored 17 points 24 minutes, but missed a three with 4 seconds left that would have given Orlando a 1 point lead. For the first time in the pre-season, the Rockets were also outrebounded, as the Magic held the edge, 49-43, as well as points in the paint, 54-32.
What’s Next: The Rockets next play on Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks, which should give time for some players to heal. Lin was scratched and sent home before tip-off as he was feeling sick after the team arrived back from Taiwan, while Omer Asik and Greg Smith were both dealing with lingering injuries.
Harden’s Buzzer Beater To End The 1st Quarter: