Notebook: Rockets 118, Magic 110

Posted Mar 1, 2013 11:29 PM

Dick Scanlon, for

THE FACTS: Desperate to avoid an embarrassing defeat, the Houston Rockets forced nine turnovers in the fourth quarter and pulled away to a 118-110 victory over the Orlando Magic.

James Harden scored 11 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and Patrick Beverley came up with 10 points, two assists and three steals in the final period.

Beverley's 3-pointer opened a decisive 11-0 run late in the fourth quarter after the Rockets had fallen behind the Magic in a game they had to win to maintain their hold on the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Chandler Parsons and Carlos Delfino scored 21 points each for the Rockets, who made 11 3-pointers in the first half and 15 for the game.

Tobias scored a game-high 27 points in his fourth game with the Magic, and E'Twaun Moore had a career-high 11 assists.

QUOTABLE: "We got stops and got transition points. We got to the free throw line. It is all because of our defense. We score a lot of points, but the way we get out in transition is because of our defense."
-- Harden on the Rockets' fourth-quarter surge.

THE STAT: It was only the seventh game of the NBA season in which both teams shot 54 percent or better. The Rockets shot .564 (44-for-78) and the Magic a season-high .545 (42-for-77).

TURNING POINT: The Magic led, 100-98, when Beverley got open for a 3-pointer with 4:35 left. He nailed it, and the Magic never led again.

QUOTABLE II: "We don't have a great rhythm right now. We've been a team that's kind of start and stop, start and stop, start and stop. . . . We've got to hit the start button again here and get some rhythm going."
-- Rockets coach Kevin McHale

HOT: Harris is shooting 70 percent (32-for-46) in four games with Orlando.

QUOTABLE III: "I think this is the right situation for me to come out and play, to play my game and grow as a player."
-- Harris

NOT: Arron Afflalo made only one shot and committed three of the Magic's nine turnovers in the fourth quarter.

GOOD MOVE: Beverley played the entire fourth quarter at point guard for Houston.

BAD MOVE: Not starting Harris in the next game, if for no other reason than to shake up a team with nothing to lose.

ROOKIE WATCH: Beverley was huge with 13 points, six assists and three steals in just 22 minutes. ... Donatas Motiejunas had a big first half for the Rockets. ... Maurice Harkless and Andrew Nicholson, the Magic's starting forwards, combined for 30 points.

NO GOOD, GOOD, BUT NO GOOD: Late in the first half, Rockets center Omer Asik was awarded an extra free throw because the Magic's Andrew Nicholson stepped in the lane too soon to rebound a shot Asik missed. He made the ensuing shot, but it was nullified because Donatas Montejunas got in the lane too quickly for the Rockets.

NOTABLE: The Rockets lead the ninth-place Lakers by 2 1/2 games. ... Magic guard Jameer Nelson missed his fifth straight game with a knee injury. ... Harris averages 20 points and 7.3 rebounds in four games.

UP NEXT: For the Rockets: Sunday vs. Dallas, Wednesday @ Dallas, Friday @ Golden State. For the Magic: Sunday vs. Memphis, Monday @ New Orleans, Wednesday @ Miami.