Recap: Rockets vs. Magic 03/17/2015

D-Mo Leads 6 in Double-Figures in Comeback Win
by Chad Shanks

Donatas Motiejunas led six Rockets in double figures in a come-from-behind 107-94 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Motiejunas started hot with seven points in the first after being moved back to the power forward spot with Joey Dorsey starting at center and Terrence Jones back on the bench. Dorsey grabbed four rebounds in the game’s first seven minutes, but he did not return to the game and Jones went on to start the second half.

Regardless of if he was technically the four or the five, D-Mo dominated with a team-high 23 points, including a beautiful pump fake that made three Orlando defenders leave their feet and a nifty spinning scoop shot that gave him his sixth 20+ point game of the season.

Corey Brewer continued his recent pattern of transforming into a madman in the fourth as he scored nine of his 13 points in the quarter to help the Rockets overcome a late third quarter seven-point deficit behind a 36-16 run over the games final 12:26. Brewer also grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the year.

Josh Smith came in and brought a lot of energy for us and so did Corey Brewer in that fourth quarter. We had to get some stops to finally pull away and I think that's what we did late in the fourth," Terrence Jones said.

Josh Smith led the Rockets’ bench with 17 points, including a 28-foot banked buzzer-beater to close the first half. Smith has now scored in double-figures in 24 of his 36 games as a Rockets reserve. He hit two big threes at the end of the third quarter that sparked the Rockets' rally.

“Huge momentum. Huge momentum going into that fourth quarter," James Harden said. "I think we were down five or so. Those two 3s give us confidence going into the fourth quarter. It gives us momentum and we carried over from there.”

Patrick Beverley was listed as questionable coming into the game with elbow bursitis, but he seemed unaffected as he led Houston with seven assists and hit five shots for 12 total points.

“Early this morning, my elbow felt kind of stiff but it felt better later on tonight. I tried to go out there and give it all I got," Beverley said.

Meanwhile, James Harden took a while to get going. His only credited field goal in the first quarter came on a goal tending call and he had just six points at halftime. Yet, after the Magic took their largest lead of the game at 78-71, Harden was key in the fourth quarter rally and hit the dagger three-pointer that all but sealed the victory.

“You know what, that's the beauty of this team. You got five or six guys in double figures. That means the ball is moving around and that means guys are getting good shots. No matter if I struggle or not, we still win and that's a great thing,” Harden said.

The home stand continues Thursday with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Back-to-Back Championships 20th Anniversary Celebration. Tickets and details.

 

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