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Orlando Magic 97, Houston Rockets 92


Keith Bogans shoots a layup
Keith Bogans drives to the basket to shoot a layup over Yao Ming in the Magic's 97-92 victory over the Rockets in Houston on Wednesday night. Bogans scored 14 points in the contest.
Photo by Bill Baptist, NBAE/Getty Images

The Orlando Magic dug themselves an early hole against the Houston Rockets, trailing 20-9 early in the first quarter, but left the Toyota Center with a win thanks to a 15-0 run late in the second quarter. The final score was 97-92. Here's the boxscore.

Dwight Howard had a great game, as usual, and Keith Bogans turned in an outstanding performance as well. But the real reason the Magic won was the Rockets' complete inability to shoot. They were just 31-of-91 on the night, including a 1-of-10 performance from former Magic star Tracy McGrady. Apart from their shooting, the Rockets essentially played us evenly.

But credit the Magic's defense some too. Yao Ming, who scored a career-high 37 points in the Rockets' last matchup with the Magic, was held to just 19 points on 39% shooting tonight. Credit Dwight Howard for keeping Yao out of his comfort zone for the most part, and credit the Magic's perimeter defenders for double-teaming the Great Wall effectively.

Rashard Lewis, a Houston native, continued his offensive struggles. However, he warmed up in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of his 13 points in the final period. He missed 10 of his 15 shot attempts, but they weren't bad looks; that is, he wasn't forcing his offense.

The Magic are in action again Friday night against the Jazz. Let's see if we can make it two wins in a row for the first time since the beginning of December.

Final notes:

  • Pat Garrity reclaimed his spot in the rotation from Brian Cook and played 13 solid minutes. He scored just 2 points, but he hustled well and seemed more comfortable in the offense than Cook has. Considering his tenure with the team -- 9 seasons-- his comfort level shouldn't come as a surprise.
  • Keyon Dooling shot poorly (3-of-9), but made up for it by getting to the foul line and converting 9 of his 10 attempts there. He's becoming a crafty scorer and providing us with much-needed bench offense. I'm not sure where we'd be without him.
  • Rafer Alston took the Rockets' last shot, trying to tie the game at 95 with a three-pointer. The shot missed, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway; his toe was on the line. Sounds familiar.
  • I'll take 8 points on 3-of-4 shooting from Mo "Mogans" Evans every night.
  • It's a shame that Derrick McKey ever played basketball. I have nothing against him, but his nickname was "Heavy D." Wouldn't that work perfectly for Dwight? Can he steal that, please?