Rockets win without Harden

Updated: 2013-04-03 05:32

(China Daily)

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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.

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 Rockets hung on to go eight games over .500 for the first time this season.

Associated Press

(China Daily 04/03/2013 page23)