ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Jalen Green scored 34 points, K.J. Martin came off the bench to add 21 and the Houston Rockets snapped a six-game losing streak with a 134-127 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night.
HOUSTON ROCKETS 134, ORLANDO MAGIC 127
Green and Martin were among nine Rockets who made 3-pointers in the game. Houston was 24 for 48 (50%) from behind the arc. Coming into the game as the NBA’s poorest shooting team (42.4%), the Rockets shot 52.9% (46 for 87) in the win.
“It was the ball movement that led to the 3-point shooting tonight for us," Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. “We're not going to make 24 threes every night, but at least we're creating opportunities for our teammates. I've been talking to them a lot about it and hopefully it's sinking in.”
Eric Gordon, who made five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points and four assists, agreed.
“That (ball movement) is why we scored a ton of points,” Gordon said, "and we were knocking them down. We took advantage. It was just an offensive night for both teams and it was good that we made the most runs to win. We didn’t have too many droughts when we weren't scoring.
Alperen Sengun had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Houston, and Kevin Porter Jr. added 17 points and 11 assists.
Paolo Banchero led the Magic with 30 points. Franz Wagner added 23 points and Terrence Ross had 21, most in a late, futile Magic rally.
Green scored seven points in a 12-0 third-quarter run, and the Rockets built a 100-83 advantage before the end of the period. It was the second straight third-quarter debacle for Orlando, which saw a 20-point lead disappear against Sacramento on Saturday night.
“They did get hot, obviously,” Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley said. “There were a lot of open looks with our inability to get to the basketball. But give them credit for knocking shots down.”
A driving layup by Mo Bamba got Houston's lead down to three early in the fourth quarter, but Daishen Nix, Tari Eason and Martin answered with 3-pointers during another 12-0 outburst that quickly pushed the Rockets' advantage back up to 15 points.
The Magic shot 65.8 % in the first half and still trailed 71-65 due to Houston's 14 3-pointers. Gordon and Green had 15 points each in the first half, and Sengun had 14 points and four offensive rebounds.
The loss dropped the Magic to 2-9, tied with the Rockets for the worst record in the league.
Rockets: Thirteen of the Rockets' first 15 shots were 3-pointers. ... Smith and Porter (illness), and Green (left knee contusion) were all game-time decisions, yet all three started. Smith flew directly to Orlando after missing Saturday's game at Minnesota. He played 22 foul-plagued minutes and scored three points.
Magic: Orlando shot 54.9% for the game and made 12 of 25 3-pointers. . . . G Markelle Fultz (fractured toe) and G Gary Harris (arthroscopic knee surgery Sept. 1) have yet to play this season and are not expected back during the seven-game homestand which ends Nov. 16.
Rockets: Play at Toronto on Wednesday night.
Magic: Play against Dallas at home Wednesday night.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 103, DETROIT PISTONS 112
DETROIT (AP) — Saddiq Bey scored 25 points, Cade Cunningham had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-103 on Monday night.
Rookie Jaden Ivey had 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Isaiah Stewart had 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Pistons outscored the Thunder 64-40 in the second half.
“At halftime, we talked about the way we came out for the game and how we needed to pick it up in the first three minutes of the second half,” Bey said. “We focused on defense. We didn't worry about whether shots were going in, because we know if we can get stops, we'll get points.”
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 33 points for the Thunder, but none of the other starters reached double figures.
“I was impressed with the level of intensity they brought to the second half of the game,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “I thought they were the aggressor from the jump. We made a couple of attempts to try to get ourselves back in there, but they were the better team.”
Detroit led 106-101 when Cunningham missed a 3-pointer with 1:55 left. Stewart, though, grabbed his 11th rebound and passed to Bey for a basket to put the Pistons up by seven.
After Kenrich Williams' layup, Cunningham was called for his fifth foul with 1:30 left. However, Pistons coach Dwane Casey successfully challenged the call and Bey hit two free throws on the ensuing possession.
The Thunder's defense was the difference in the first half, holding Detroit to 35.4% shooting, including 15.8% on 3-pointers. Gilgeous-Alexander had 21 points and three blocks in the half, while no Piston reached double figures.
The lead was 63-48 at the half, but Detroit started the third quarter with a 24-6 run to take a 72-69 lead.
“Our big adjustment is called energy,” Casey said. “They outran us and outhustled us in the first half, and once we decided to play at the level, we got ourselves back into the game.”
The Pistons expanded the edge to 77-71, but the Thunder led 85-84 at quarter's end.
The Pistons got off to another quick start in the fourth, outscoring Oklahoma City 10-2 in the first three minutes.
“They just imposed their will on us at the start of the second half and again at the start of the fourth quarter,” the Thunder's Mike Muscala said.
Thunder: Oklahoma City came into the game with the NBA's best third-quarter point differential (+5.7), but Detroit outscored the Thunder 36-22 in the third.
“They came out and threw the first punch and beat us to every loose ball,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “That's something we are always trying to do ourselves.”
Pistons: Detroit is 3-3 at home and 0-5 on the road. ... Monday was the second game this season where three Pistons have posted a double double.
Casey said that the state-of-the-art internet at Little Caesars Arena helped him make the challenge on the late offensive foul on Cunningham.
“There are a lot of arenas where the internet is a lot slower than it is here,” he said. “I'm sure that's not an accident.”
Thunder: Host the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
Pistons: Visit the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS 122, INDIANA PACERS 129
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Myles Turner had season highs of 37 points and 12 rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 129-122 on Monday night for their fourth win in five games.
“That was one of his most impactful games since I've been here,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said of Turner. “But a big point night should not be what this is about. This should be about the team. He scored all those points to help our team win.”
Tyrese Haliburton added 20 points and 13 assists for the Pacers, making six 3-pointers. Buddy Hield had 20 points with five 3-pointers. Jalen Smith added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Turner had been averaging 13.8 points in five games after missing the season's first four starts with a sore ankle.
“My biggest thing is just trying to stay healthy and keep my rhythm going,” Turner said. “It was a great individual performance, great team performance. All eyes forward.”
The Pacers made 22 3-pointers, seventh-most in franchise history, compared to the Pelicans’ 14.
“This was just an unbelievable game, really spirited from start to finish,” Carlisle said. “A lot of guys contributed. We just had a real connected spirit tonight.”
Brandon Ingram scored 29 points and Zion Williamson had 26 for the Pelicans, who like the Pacers are 5-5 but have lost two in a row for the first time.
Pelicans coach Willie Green was displeased about his players' lack of effort.
“We know we have an opportunity to do something special,” Green said. “But we can't just roll the balls out and beat teams. We have to work at it. We have to compete. We have to play hard. I just didn't think we did it up to our level tonight.”
Green pointed a finger at himself for the Pelicans not being better prepared — “I promise we will be better.”
The Pacers scored the game’s initial nine points, but the Pelicans gradually trimmed the deficit to 32-30 by the end of the first quarter. Both teams came out shooting from long range, as the Pelicans made 7 of 10 from beyond the arc and the Pacers hit 6 of 13.
Turner made all five of his first-quarter shots including a pair of 3s for 12 points.
Haliburton, rookie Andrew Nembhard and Hield hit 3s near the end of the first half as the Pacers closed on a 9-4 run to take a 58-55 halftime lead. Both teams had 10 3s at the break, although the Pacers attempted 26 of their 42 shots from 3 while the Pelicans had 19 attempts.
“When Buddy and me came here in a trade, we just brought a lot of energy and I think guys feed off that,” Haliburton said, referring to a February trade that brought them to Indiana.
The Pelicans trailed by as many as 13 points midway through the third quarter. All five Pacers starters had scored in double digits compared to just three Pelicans. Turner closed the third with a 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 100-91 lead.
“We just have to play 48 minutes (and) right now, we're not," Green said. “That's why we're losing some of these games that we're capable of winning.”
Pelicans: Have not started a season 6-4 or better since 2014. ... Next game will be eighth out of 11 on the road before a six-game homestand. ... Reserve G-F Garrett Temple missed the game for personal reasons.
Pacers: Nembhard started for SG Chris Duarte, who is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained left ankle suffered Friday. Nembhard, who had 15 points, made his first NBA start because the Pacers want rookie 18.6-point scorer Bennedict Mathurin to continue as the sixth man. ... Are two games into a four-game homestand.
Pelicans: At Chicago on Wednesday.
Pacers: Host Denver on Wednesday.
By The Associated Press | 11/08/22
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