NBA Game Summary - Houston at Orlando
(Wednesday, December 23rd)
Final Score: Orlando 102, Houston 87
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Vince Carter ended with 18 points and Rashard Lewis added 15, as Orlando pulled away for a 102-87 victory over Houston.
Dwight Howard corralled 20 rebounds to go with 13 points for the Magic, who have won three straight to begin a five-game homestand. Jameer Nelson chipped in 15 points in his first start since returning from knee surgery.
The Magic had lost seven in a row against the Rockets at Amway Arena.
Carl Landry logged 12 of his 20 points in the fourth to pace the Rockets, who had a three-game win streak snapped. Aaron Brooks added 17 points and Luis Scola had 14 with five rebounds, as the team was beaten on the glass, 49-37.
"When they get it going it's difficult," Scola said of the Magic. "They're a pretty good team. They won't let you come back a lot of times."
Houston was within one, 61-60, with 3:37 gone in the third quarter, but Lewis hit a three-pointer to spark a 15-0 run. Nelson twice hit from long range during the spurt and capped it with a jumper at the 2:23 mark.
The hosts were in front, 78-65, after 36 minutes but let the Rockets inch closer, getting within 90-82 on Jermaine Taylor's floater at the 5:38 mark.
That was as close as the game got, however, as Lewis' three-pointer with under 2 1/2 minutes to play pushed the margin back to double digits.
"I think it helped us that they played last night," Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said of the Rockets. "But I thought we played very hard defensively in the second half."
In its second game in as many nights, Houston had weary legs in the opening frame, allowing Orlando to make 13-of-23 from the field to jump out front.
Jason Williams' steal and layup provided a 34-22 lead after 12 minutes, and though high-percentage shots were a little tougher to come by in the second quarter, the Magic still led, 55-52, at halftime.
Former Magic players Tracy McGrady and Trevor Ariza failed to produce for the Rockets, as McGrady scored just two points in 7 1/2 minutes while Ariza hit a mere 1-for-10 from the floor for six points...The Magic next play on Christmas Day against Boston, while Houston visits New Jersey on Saturday...Kyle Lowry netted 13 points for the Rockets, while Ryan Anderson went for 14 points for Orlando, which made 11-of-29 from behind the arc.
12/24 00:04:54 ET