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.

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