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Magic vs. Rockets GameThread

The Rockets come to Orlando without their leading scorer and MVP candidate in James Harden – can the Magic capitalize?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic, fresh off of a 98-95 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, take the floor against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. The Rockets are without their star guard James Harden and 1-5 in their last 6, but they still own the NBA's third-best record by win percentage.

In their last time out, the Rockets secured a sloppy 148-142 home win over the Lakers in double overtime. After a five-game losing streak, which saw the team go from the No. 1 see in the Western Conference to second, and the in-game injury of Harden, the Rockets look to string together two in a row against a Magic team that has looked lifeless of late.

Led by another All-NBA player, as well as First Team All-Defense selection in Chris Paul, the Rockets lead the league in three-pointers attempted at a staggering rate of 43.3 per game. They are also sixth in points, as well as top-five in two-point percentage, free throw attempts, free throws made, and steals.

The Magic have shown sloppy tendencies that could play right into the Rockets' hands if left unchecked, so keys to the game include limiting quality three-point chances, and eliminating careless fouls and turnovers.

Line: Houston -7.5 (OddsShark)

Injury report:

Orlando: Jonathan Isaac (Ankle) – OUT; Terrence Ross (Ankle) – OUT; Nikola Vucevic (Hand) – OUT

Houston: James Harden (Hamstring) – OUT; Luc Mbah a Moute (Shoulder) – OUT; Troy Williams (Knee) – OUT