Rockets rally in 4th to outlast Magic, 118-110
- Article by: KYLE HIGHTOWER
- Associated Press
- March 1, 2013 - 8:57 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. - James Harden scored 24 points, and Chandler Parsons and Carlos Delfino added 21 apiece as the Houston Rockets rallied in the fourth quarter for a 118-110 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.
The Rockets stopped a two-game skid and ended a five-game losing streak to the Magic. Houston trailed by two late in the game, before using an 11-0 run to seize control.
The Rockets return home to host Dallas on Sunday as they try to stay in the Western Conference playoff picture.
Tobias Harris scored a career-high 27 points to lead Orlando, followed by Arron Afflalo with 19 and Niklola Vucevic with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Magic have dropped two in a row and 30 of their last 34.
Orlando took a one-point lead into a fourth-quarter that saw the lead change hands throughout.
The Magic reached the century mark first at 100-98, before turnovers and bad possessions led the Rockets' spurt to put them up 109-100 with 3:28 to play.
Harris finally answered with a basket, but Houston's Defino answered with a 3-pointer on the other end to grow the lead to 112-102.
E'Twaun Moore hit a jumper to cut it to 112-107, and Orlando then got the ball back on a miss by Houston. But Afflalo stepped out of bounds on the ensuing possession — the Magic's 16th turnover of the night — and the Rockets were able to close it out at the free-throw line.
The Magic had eight turnovers in the first three quarters, but nine in the final 12 minutes.
They also lost despite shooting a season-high 56 percent (44 for 78) on the night.
Harden (knee) and Jeremy Lin (ankle) were both game-time decisions Friday after sitting out the Rockets' practice on Thursday. Both started as scheduled, though, and were needed to keep up with an inspired Magic team offensively.
The Rockets shot 60 percent (24 for 40) in a fast-paced first half, including 11 3-pointers. But Orlando was just as strong at 55 percent (24 for 43) and trailed just 64-61 at halftime.
Parsons had 15 first-half points to lead the Rockets, with Nicholson and Harris each scoring 13 for the Magic.
Orlando also shared the ball with 20 assists and took care of the ball with only four turnovers.
NOTES: Moore had a career-high 11 assists. ... Magic PG Jameer Nelson missed his fifth straight game with a left patella tendon contusion. He remains day-to-day. ... Former world champion boxer Roy Jones Jr. sat courtside.
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