Yao dominates as HOU keeps Magic struggling
In addition to Yao, TMac scored 19 pts with 10 asts; Juwan Howard off the bench 14 pts, and Shane Battier 12 pts, 8 rebs. The Magic were led by GHill, back in the starting lineup, with 17 pts, DHoward 16 pts, 12 rebs, DMilicic 15 pts, 9 rebs; and HTurkoglu, playing with a broken nose, 10 pts. KBogans led the reserves with 8 pts.
The Magic (38 of 84, 45.2%) actually outscored HOU (36 of 68, 52.9%) from the field 80-79. HOU shot 7 of 18 from 3 pt range, while the Magic shot 4 of 10 there. HOU (24 of 30) shot much better at the FT line than the Magic (12 of 20). HOU outrebounded the Magic 38-36, though the Magic had an 11-6 edge in offensive boards. The Magic had one of their best AST/TO ratios of the season at 23/10, while HOU also had a decent ratio of 30/17. The Magic bench outscored the HOU bench 30-24.
This game represented a better effort from the Magic than they put up against the Bulls, but they had basically no chance of winning this game, with Yao and TMac at the top of their game for HOU. Magic now have to go to CHA MON night in what promises to be another tough game but one in which the Magic almost have to win if they want to be serious about a playoff run.