Rockets beat Magic without Harden, Parsons

Omer Asik matched his career high with 22 points and grabbed 18

rebounds and the Houston Rockets beat the Orlando Magic 111-103 on

Monday night without James Harden and Chandler Parsons.

Jeremy Lin had 19 points and 11 assists and Francisco Garcia had

14 points, five assists and three blocks for the Rockets, who

hardly missed their top two scorers until Orlando made a late run.

Harden sat out for the second straight game with a sore right foot

and Parsons missed the game with an illness.

Rookie Maurice Harkless scored a career-high 28 points and Beno

Udrih had 17 points and 10 assists for the Magic.

The Rockets won for the eighth time in 10 home games and inched

closer to their first playoff berth since the 2008-09 season.

Houston holds the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.

Greg Smith started the game with a one-handed dunk and the

Rockets were off and running. Smith and Asik got any shot they

wanted early on and the Rockets opened with a 21-6 spurt.

Orlando offered no defensive resistance inside and also missed

10 of its first 14 shots, one of them an airball from the corner by

DeQuan Jones. Houston stretched the lead to 20 with Asik and Smith

on the bench resting for the final three minutes of the opening


The Magic cut the deficit to 11 early in the second quarter, but

Asik got open for another dunk with 6:06 left in the half and the

Rockets widened the gap again. Donatas Motiejunas finished a fast

break with a layup and Carlos Delfino rattled in a 3-pointer from

the corner for a 53-36 lead.

The 7-foot Asik had a double-double by halftime – 14 points and

12 rebounds – and overpowered any Orlando big man who tried to get

in his way. The perimeter was open, too, and 3-pointers by Garcia

and Lin late in the half put Houston up 65-43 at the break.

The Magic mounted a 17-4 run early in the third quarter, but

could only get within 12. Lin bounced a pass to Asik for another

dunk and sank a 3-pointer to restore a 17-point lead. Asik grabbed

his 18th rebound off a Harkless miss and heaved a baseball pass to

Lin for a layup and an 85-66 lead.

Asik and Lin were relaxing on the bench in the fourth quarter

and the game’s outcome seemingly in hand. But Tobias Harris scored

six points and Udrih sank a 3-pointer during a 14-2 Orlando run

that trimmed the deficit to five with about two minutes left.

James Anderson, who started for Harden, tipped in a Delfino miss

and the Rockets hung on to go eight games over .500 for the first

time this season.

Notes: The Magic have lost 10 of 11. … Orlando’s first-quarter

point total (14) was a season low for a Houston opponent. …

Harris had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando. … Asik has 31

double-doubles this season. … Garcia started in Parson’s place.

… The Rockets recalled F Terrence Jones from their developmental

league affiliate in Rio Grande Valley. The 6-foot-9 Jones has

averaged 19 points and nine rebounds in 24 games for the Vipers

this season.