ORLANDO, Fla. -- James Harden scored 31 points, including 25 in the second half, and the Houston Rockets dug out of a double-digit, first-half hole to beat the Orlando Magic 101-89 on Wednesday night. The Rockets dominated inside, outscoring the Magic 58-26 in the paint. Dwight Howard added 19 points and 14 rebounds in his second trip to Orlando to face his former team. Houston trailed in the second quarter by as many as 14 points, but battled back to win for the 13th time in 15 outings. Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 18 points. The Magic dropped to 0-2 this season against the Rockets. Orlando played without Jameer Nelson and Victor Oladipo. Nelson was out sick and Oladipo missed his first game of the season with soreness in his left ankle. Howard scored 11 points in the third quarter, connecting on five of his six field-goal attempts, to help the Rockets take 10-point lead into the fourth. The Magics second unit surged at the start of the period, and cut the deficit to three and prompted the Rockets to quickly re-insert their starters. Harden immediately scored five straight points, and Terrence Jones added a layup to push Houstons lead back up to 86-76 with 5:37 to play. Orlando never got closer than eight points the rest of the way. Orlando fans greeted Howard with a round of boos during player introductions and another the first time he touched the ball after the game tipped off. Howard briefly silenced them, slamming down a dunk on the Rockets first possession. It was one of his few highlights early, though, as the Magic rode hot early shooting and jumped out to a 14-point first-quarter advantage on the way to a 48-41 halftime lead. The Magic did honour Howard, with a video tribute on the scoreboard between the first and second quarter as part of the teams season-long 25th anniversary celebration. But even that was met with sporadic boos during the presentation from fans. Howard said before the game that he thought the video package could bring about some emotion. He was on the bench when it was played, but managed a slight smile as the booing persisted. It continued whenever Howard touched the ball, and he struggled at different points in the half, finishing with just seven points. Orlando started the half connecting on 10 of its first 14 field-goal attempts. That cooled to 44 per cent by halftime, with Houston holding a 26-18 advantage on scoring inside the paint, and 28-18 rebounding edge. Notes: Oladipo had been the only Magic player to appear every game this season before Wednesday. Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said the rookies injury doesnt stem from a particular incident, but is just general soreness. ... Former NBA player Grant Hill sat courtside. Tyler Ennis Jersey
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.A. Happ is coming off his first start of the year, a win at Philadelphia Monday. The former Phillie allowed three hits in five scoreless frames of a 3-0 triumph.ATLANTA - The Indiana Pacers knew what they were up against. This was a game they had to have. Paul George and David West made sure they got it. George and West hit key 3-pointers down the closing minutes, and top-seeded Indiana held off the Atlanta Hawks 91-88 to even the opening-round series at two wins apiece Saturday. Finally, the Pacers showed some grit and resilience, regaining the home-court edge that slipped away when they were stunned by the No. 8-seeded Hawks in Game 1. "We were just in desperation mode," West said. "You just cant go down two games in a playoff series. The odds are against you." George put the Pacers ahead 86-85 with a jumper beyond the arc, and West hit another trey with 1:33 remaining. Atlanta had a chance after Kyle Korver was fouled in the corner and knocked down three free throws, taking advantage of a do-over after the Pacers were called for a lane violation. But George gave the Pacers two chances at the other hand, scrambling for an offensive rebound after Lance Stephenson missed a 3. George Hill took advantage by scooping one in off a drive with 56 seconds left. That would be the final points. The Hawks whiffed on their last three possessions; Pero Antic missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime after the Pacers made sure Korver, the long-range specialist, didnt get his hands on the ball. Game 5 is Monday in Indianapolis. After questioning his teams toughness, George scored 24 points and added 10 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double. West added 18 points. "My number was called," George said. "I had to deliver." Unfortunately for the Hawks, Paul Millsap couldnt provide the matching punch. Even though he led the Hawks with 29 points, the All-Star forward turned it over with a bad pass with 33 seconds to go. Then, after Stephenson lost the ball and the Hawks gained possession off a jump, Millsap missed a spinning shot in the lane as Atlanta passed on going for a tying 3-pointer. "Were still a confident group," Millsap said. "We let one slip away, but we showed we can go out and compete in the games up there. Thats where our mindset is now. Weve got to let this one go and get ready for Monday." Indiana left the door open by missing its final four free throws, including a pair byy George with 7.dddddddddddd5 seconds left when only one would have been enough to seal the victory. But the Pacers buckled down at the defensive end, forcing Antic to throw up a desperation shot that clanked off the rim. The Pacers decided against benching Roy Hibbert to go with a smaller lineup against the Hawks, who have taken the 7-foot-2 centre out of his comfort zone by spreading the court with their big men. Hibbert continued to struggle, managing just six points and three rebounds in a little less than 25 minutes. But he did have his first two blocks of the series. George and West took care of the rest. Cheered on by a raucous crowd at Philips Arena, where they even took down a curtain that normally covers part of the upper deck, the Hawks looked as though they were headed for a commanding lead in the series as they pushed out to their biggest lead, 54-44, early in the third quarter. But Millsap picked up two fouls just 7 seconds apart, giving him four in the game and forcing him to the bench for much of the period. The Pacers took advantage of the Atlanta stars absence, whittling the deficit down to 59-56 by the time he returned. "Getting him on his heels, putting him in a tough spot, obviously it changes who they are," West said. "The game was getting away from us. He goes to the bench, we closed the gap somewhat." It was tight all the way in the fourth, and things really got heated down the stretch. With about 5 1/2 minutes remaining, Millsap stumbled trying to drive to the basket and two Pacers piled on him trying to snatch the ball away. Tempers flared, Hill gave Atlantas Mike Scott a little shove, and both players were assessed technical fouls. After sorting things out, the officials ruled it a jump ball. "In the fourth quarter, we just made enough plays," West said. "The season was on the line." Notes: The Hawks gave a lot more attention to Indiana F Luis Scola, who had scored 37 points in the two previous games. He managed only 4 Saturday. ... Scott had 12 points off the Atlanta bench, but went just 4 of 15 from the field. ... Evan Turner gave the Pacers a boost early on, scoring seven straight points. He finished with 11. ... All five Indiana starters blocked at least one shot. ... Korver had a career playoff high with nine rebounds. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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