Orlando came into Houston, 6-2, 3-0 on the road, but missing 6 players. It showed. The game was over about 6 minutes into the 1st quarter. Aside from Nikola Vucevic, the Magic didn't have any other capable offensive player on the court. The Rockets ended the 1st quarter on a 24-5 run, which would eventually become a 38-9 run, and the Magic didn't get within 20 points of the Rockets for the rest of the game. For the Rockets, everybody looked good, but I'm not sure there's much to take away from that. A new wrinkle for the Rockets is the presence of Ben McLemore, the sharp shooter who played in his first game of the season. He went 5-5 from deep. I'm excited to see what kind of role he plays in the offense going forward. Christian Wood led the Rockets with 22 points and added 15 rebounds. Vucevic led the Magic with 22 points of his own. To start the 2nd half Bill Worrell said what everyone watching was feeling, "Vucevic doesn't have much else today, I kind of feel for him". Me too Bill, me too.
1st quarter - Rockets +15
The Rockets started the game flat. They were settling for threes that they weren't making. The Magic didn't look much better, but they made a few shots, and had an early lead. Four minutes into the quarter, James Harden beat his man off the dribble, drove to the hoop, and scored. That started a 24-5 run where the Rockets made just about everything, inside and out. The Magic didn't have anything going for them. Vucivic had an okay quarter, that's the best I can do.
2nd quarter - Rockets +14
The Rockets started the 2nd like they finished the 1st. The 24-5 run that they ended the last quarter with, finished as a 38-9 run. Harden, John Wall, Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker, Jae'Sean Tate, Christian Wood, David Nwaba, all looked excellent. After starting the game shooting 2-6 from deep, the Rockets were now shooting 8-15 from three.
3rd quarter - Rockets +7
Coming into the 2nd half it was clear the game was already over. The Rockets lead by 29, and the Magic simply didn't have the talent to come back. Even so, the starters played most of the quarter for both teams, perhaps out of respect. With 5 minutes left in the quarter, Wall hit his 3rd three of the game, the most all season for Wall, and put the Rockets up 78-43. PJ hit another three the next possession and put the Rockets up 81-43. The Rockets finished the quarter up 36 points.
4th quarter - Rockets +6
The starters, for both teams, didn't play at all in the 4th. The Rockets were able to clear their bench. Mason Jones, Bruno Caboclo, and Kenyon Martin Jr. all got serious minutes. It was fun to watch. Caboclo stood out, he scored 6 quick points.
- The Rockets made, a season high, 22 three's today.
- Jae'Sean Tate is playing more minutes as a rookie than any other Rocket's rookie since Steve Francis. He made all his attempts today, shooting 5 for 5.
- Christain Wood was the "Frost Player of the Game".
- James Harden finished the game with only 15 points, same as last game. Harden has never had back-to-back 15 point-or-less games as a Rocket.
|PG||John Wall||Dwayne Bacon|
|SG||James Harden||Cole Anthony|
|SF||David Nwaba||Gary Clark|
|PF||PJ Tucker||James Ennis III|
|C||Christian Wood||Nikola Vucevic|