NBA: Rockets sprint to 42-point win over Magic

Reuters

Posted at Jan 09 2021 03:11 PM

James Harden and Christian Wood recorded double-doubles and the Houston Rockets took full advantage of the shorthanded Orlando Magic, rolling to a 132-90 win Friday at Toyota Center.

The Rockets, who entered play 28th in the NBA in 3-point percentage, drilled 11 of 23 threes in a runaway first half.

Harden got in on the action by making 2 of 5 treys but P.J. Tucker and Ben McLemore, playing in his first game this season, were the linchpins of the perimeter onslaught.

McLemore and Tucker scored nine points apiece prior to the intermission, with Tucker making 3 of 4 3s while McLemore finished 3 of 3 from behind the arc.

McLemore was sidelined for the first six games following a positive COVID-19 test and subsequent health and safety protocols.

Harden finished with 15 points and 13 assists while Wood returned from a one-game injury hiatus and posted 22 points and 15 rebounds.

Six Rockets scored in double figures as McLemore finished with 15 points on 5-for-5 3-point shooting while Tucker added 15 points.

The Magic, down seven rotation players including guards Markelle Fultz (knee) and Evan Fournier (back spasms), received a double-double from center Nikola Vucevic (22 points, 12 rebounds).

Otherwise, the Magic were punchless offensively, falling into a 32-point first-half hole by missing 11 of 12 treys. Conversely, the Rockets shot 53.3 percent from the floor prior to the break.

The Rockets used a 13-0 run in the first quarter to seize control. Tucker and Harden drilled 3s and David Nwaba capped the rally with a dunk at the 3:10 mark.

Orlando missed eight consecutive shots during the Houston run and finished the first with as many turnovers as field goals (five).

Houston opened the second hitting 4 of 6 3s to stretch its advantage to 46-21. When Harden sank a trey off a John Wall assist with 1:17 left in the half, the Rockets led 60-28.

The Rockets led by as many as 42 points in the second half and made a season-high 22 3s.