Ever since coming over from the Milwaukee Bucks, Tobias Harris has looked like a man on the mission, reaching double figures in points in all four of his games with the Orlando Magic. Unfortunately, the Magic have won just one of those contests and this was not one of those games, as Orlando fell 118-110 to the Houston Rockets on Friday night at the Amway Center.
"We went out there tonight and played a heck of a game, brought a lot of energy, and battled to the end of the game," Harris said. "It just shows that as a team we're making steps. … If we can just keep building on this, I think that would be good for us."
James Harden was the top scorer for Houston (32-28), totaling 24 points to go with eight assists and seven rebounds, while Chandler Parsons and Carlos Delfino had 21 points apiece, Donatas Motiejunas finished with 17 points, Patrick Beverley notched 13 points and six assists, Jeremy Lin scored 11 points and Omer Asik recorded nine points and 12 boards.
Harris registered a double-double for the Magic (16-43), tallying 27 points and 10 rebounds on 11 of 15 shooting, including 3 of 5 from behind the arc. Arron Afflalo (19 points), Nikola Vucevic (18 points and 10 rebounds), Andrew Nicholson (17 points) and Moe Harkless (13 points) all reached double digits in points for Orlando as well.
Both teams shot stifling percentages from the field, as the Magic were 44 of 78 (56.4%) overall and 9 of 22 (40.9%) from 3-point range, whereas the Rockets made 42 of 77 (54.5%) shots, including 15 of 32 (46.9%) from downtown. Orlando was outrebounded by just three, 34-31, and held a 46-44 edge on points in the paint, but Houston turned 17 Magic turnovers into 22 points.
After being outscored 32-31 in the first quarter, the Rockets won the second quarter 33-29. Orlando bounced back to take the third quarter 26-22, but Houston outscored the Magic 32-23 in the fourth.
"I think he came into the game and finished the stretch run for them," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "He hit key shots for them and, at the same time, was able to apply a little defensive pressure. I give a lot of credit to him and the fact that they were able to turn up the defense a little bit on us."
Orlando hosts Memphis on Sunday at 6:00 pm on FS Florida.
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