NBA

Orlando Magic 'lost to James Harden' after 54-point blitz

By Sports Desk December 14, 2019

Evan Fournier said the Orlando Magic felt like they lost to James Harden alone after he drained another 10 three-pointers in an emphatic Houston Rockets win.

The Rockets triumphed 130-107 on the road as Harden scored a team-record 10 baskets from behind the arc for the second consecutive game.

He finished with 54 points, passing 50 for the fourth time in his last seven games, and added seven assists, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals in a 36-minute performance that even had Magic fans applauding him.

Russell Westbrook had 23 points and Ben McLemore added 18 but it was Harden who was central to the Magic's thoughts.

"I feel like we lost against just him," the Magic's Evan Fournier said, per ESPN, after Friday's loss. 

"He's the MVP for a reason. We talked in pregame that he'll take shots, and we'll just live with the results. He did not miss, period."

Orlando coach Steve Clifford added of Harden: "When he's shooting over the top like that, I don't know what you can do."

Harden now has 2,152 career three-pointers and moved past Paul Pierce up to eight in the NBA all-time list.

Fournier had 27 points and Aaron Gordon added 21 but the Magic could not live with the Rockets' scoring power.

Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said: "When James is like that, it's hard for anybody to really beat us.

"No matter what kind of defense you are going to throw, we've got guys. We just shot the ball extremely well."

The Rockets have won six of their last eight to move to 17-8, good for fourth in the Western Conference.

Related items

  • It is Brandon Ingram time now - Ball hails Pels forward ahead of Zion return It is Brandon Ingram time now - Ball hails Pels forward ahead of Zion return

    Brandon Ingram served a timely reminder of his quality ahead of Zion Williamson's impending return by scoring a career-high 49 points against the Utah Jazz, and Lonzo Ball called him the New Orleans Pelicans' "go-to guy".

    It was confirmed on Monday that Williamson, the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and one of the most hyped prospects to ever enter the NBA, is expected to make his regular-season debut next week against the San Antonio Spurs.

    A knee injury has kept the teenager sidelined since preseason and Ingram, traded to the Pelicans in the offseason as part of the deal which sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, has thrived in his absence.

    The forward led the Pelicans to a 138-132 overtime victory over the Jazz, who had their 10-game winning streak snapped as a result on Thursday.

    Ingram is averaging 25.8 points per game this season - the 10th best return in the NBA - and Ball said that he has to be considered the main man on the team that landed Williamson.

    "He has come into his own. It is Brandon Ingram time now," Ball, who also came across to New Orleans from the Lakers in the Davis trade, told reporters.

    "Since I have known him, he has been a confident person but this whole year, he has been on a whole other level.

    "Obviously, he is our go-to guy on this team and we trust him."

  • Giannis lifts Bucks past Celtics, Ingram's 49 helps snap Jazz's 10-game winning streak Giannis lifts Bucks past Celtics, Ingram's 49 helps snap Jazz's 10-game winning streak

    NBA leaders the Milwaukee Bucks topped the Boston Celtics 128-123 thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo's double-double.

    Antetokounmpo scored 32 points and collected 17 rebounds as the Bucks (37-6) extended their winning streak to five games on Thursday.

    It was the 35th double-double of the season for reigning MVP Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.

    Kemba Walker posted a game-high 40 points for the Celtics (27-13) on the road.

    Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers made it back-to-back wins via a 122-95 victory over the Orlando Magic.

    Orlando ended the Los Angeles Lakers' winning streak on Wednesday, but they were unable to back up that performance against the Clippers.

    Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 32 points, five assists and five rebounds in LA, where Montrezl Harrell added 21 points and Jamychal Green put up 11 points and 13 rebounds.

     

    Ingram and Mitchell explode for career highs in shoot-out

    Brandon Ingram recorded a career-high 49 points to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a stunning 138-132 overtime victory against the Utah Jazz, who had their 10-game winning streak snapped. Jazz star Donovan Mitchell tied his career high with 46 points.

    Will Barton (31 points) and Nikola Jokic (23 points, 12 rebounds), Michael Porter Jr. (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Malik Beasley (27 points) helped the Denver Nuggets outlast the Golden State Warriors 134-131 in OT.

     

    Hayward struggles

    It was a tough night for Celtics star Gordon Hayward. Struck down by injuries during his time with Boston, Hayward was one of 10 from the floor and one of nine from three-point range for seven points in 32 minutes.

    The Pelicans soared but Lonzo Ball did not. While managing 13 assists, Ball had just five points on two-of-12 shooting from the field and one-of-five from beyond the arc in 42 minutes.

     

    Tatum leaves opponents in a spin

    In fine form this season, Boston's Jayson Tatum sent one opponent to the floor while he turned another en route to the basket.

     

    Thursday's results

    Phoenix Suns 121-98 New York Knicks
    Milwaukee Bucks 128-123 Boston Celtics
    New Orleans Pelicans 138-132 Utah Jazz (OT)
    Denver Nuggets 134-131 Golden State Warriors (OT)
    Los Angeles Clippers 122-95 Orlando Magic

     

    Bulls at 76ers

    The Philadelphia 76ers will look to generate some momentum when they host the Chicago Bulls on Friday. The 76ers (26-16) are 19-2 at home and 7-14 on the road as they welcome the Bulls (15-27) to Wells Fargo Center.

  • LeBron James 'happy as hell' for Markelle Fultz after triple-double LeBron James 'happy as hell' for Markelle Fultz after triple-double

    LeBron James was "happy as hell" for Markelle Fultz after the Orlando Magic guard posted a triple-double in a 119-118 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Fultz had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists at Staples Center for his second career triple-double as the Magic ended the Lakers' nine-game winning streak on Wednesday.

    The former first overall pick struggled with his shooting motion after entering the NBA and made just 33 appearances across his first two seasons in the league with the Philadelphia 76ers.

    Fultz was eventually diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and last February got traded to the Magic, where he continued his rehabilitation.

    The 21-year-old revealed before the game against the Lakers that James had been a "mentor" to him and the four-time MVP was impressed by his latest display.

    Asked how Fultz has been able to turn his career around, James replied: "Confidence and opportunity.

    "They're confident in him, he's confident in himself, and he's given an opportunity to go out and play the game how he grew up playing. I think everything else takes care of itself.

    "I've been supportive of him ever since he was in high school, when he was a rookie in Philly. Been supportive of his situation and still [am] to this day. I'm happy as hell for him."

    Fultz is averaging 11.7 points and 4.6 assists in 27 minutes per game this season and is pleased his perseverance is paying off.

    "What I've been through, it just gives me more fire to keep going," he told ESPN. "I put in a lot of hard work to be where I'm at. I've been through a lot, but I never gave up.

    "So, it just shows for people out there, whoever is doubting you, whoever is doing something [to you], put something on your mind and if you have something on your mind, go do it.

    "Don't ever let somebody tell you that you can't and I'm never going to stop. I'm going to keep working until I can't play no more."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.