The Rockets' All-Star starter added 11 rebounds and six assists for the Rockets, while extending his streak of 30-point games to 23 in a row. He now ranks fourth all-time in such streaks behind three streaks that were all done by Wilt Chamberlain. Harden has also scored 40 or more points in 12 of his past 17 games, including a career-high, franchise record, and MSG visitor record 61 points against the New York Knicks last week.
Houston never led in the game on Sunday until there were four minutes left in regulation, which forced a back-and-forth affair the rest of the way. Harden had the go-ahead three-pointer with just over a minute to play, while adding another basket to lift his team to victory. Terrence Ross missed a crucial three-pointer for the Magic, who also faced the tough defense of Harden, as he finished with three blocks on the night.
Paul had key free throws late to seal the win, and the point guard finished with 12 points and six assists after missing 17 straight games with a strained left hamstring. The Rockets went 12-5 without Paul, thanks mostly to Harden, as they also welcomed in Kenneth Faried in the past week. The recent addition, who is replacing Clint Capela, had 12 points and 10 rebounds in his second game with the Rockets.
Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 23 points, but they have dropped six of their past seven games, as they move on to host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday. The Rockets will stay home to host the New Orleans Pelicans that same night.