HOUSTON, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Houston Rockets beat the Orlando Magic 98-88 on Sunday night at Toyota Center, keeping a two-game win streak at home and handing the visitors their fifth straight loss.
The Rockets blasted the magic after a slow start, leading 52-38 at halftime. But they stumbled in the second half, missing free throws and committing turnovers. The Magic was able to cut a 22-point deficit to 10 midway through the fourth quarter. With James Harden's and Dwight Howard's relentless play, the host team won eventually.
Howard had his first 20-20 game since leaving his first former team Orlando, getting 20 points and 22 rebounds, making 8 of 14 free throws, in a stunning performance to celebrate his 28th birthday Sunday.
Harden delivered an all-around performance, dominating the whole game. He had 27 points and 10 assists, his seven 20-10 game with the Rockets, coming two rebounds short of a triple double.
Terrence Jones chipped in 16 points and 13 rebounds. Chandler Parsons, who missed two games because of a sore back, started for Houston and had 18 points.
Glenn Davis scored 18 points for Orlando.
With the win, Houston has improved to 15-7 on the season. They will play Trail Blazers on Thursday.