Tobias Harris shines for Magic in loss to Rockets
It was one of the best efforts put forth by the Orlando Magic all season. Against the Houston Rockets on Friday night in the O-town, the Magic led the Rockets by one point entering the fourth quarter and seemed to be on their way to a much needed victory.
Then the quarter flipped to the fourth, the Rockets started to bear down and allowed their veteran leadership to suffocate the Magic.
The Rockets almost toyed with Orlando up until the final minutes of the game when the score was 100-98, Orlando’s way.
After that, James Harden, “the bearded one,” led his team down the stretch to eke out any sense of a possible victory by this much maligned Magic ball club.
Houston put the screws to Orlando by causing turnovers and just making key baskets in the last few minutes. They led the Magic by nine points with just three minutes left, and that’s when the fat lady started to warm up her chords.
The Rockets stopped a two-game skid by beating the Magic 118-110, dropping Orlando to 16-43. With their win, Houston is able to hold on to the last playoff spot in the west and stay ahead of the surging Los Angeles Lakers.
But that’s not the story of the night. The evening belonged to Orlando’s recently acquired forward from the Milwaukee Bucks, Tobias Harris.
For the night, Harris scored a career high 27-points, snagged 10 rebounds and continued to show why he deserves more time on the court.
Remember, this is the guy who was assigned the infamous number 12 once he arrived in Orlando, so he has a hefty cape to wear on his back. So far, he’s doing a great job and he has definitely caught the attention of Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn.
“He’s put in the work and the only way to see if that work is efficient is to try and shoot in the game. He’s done a good job of doing that,” said Vaughn. “I just think he’s getting more comfortable out there. I think his teammates are continually gaining trust in him.”
The young Harris, only 20 years old, was essentially wasting away on the bench in Milwaukee. He is a first year player out of Tennessee who rarely saw any floor time during his time with the Bucks.
While going through that transition in Milwaukee, Harris said that his father told him that the Bucks aren’t paying him to sit on the bench. They are lining his pockets to be ready when his number is called.
He seems to be ready for the folks in Orlando. Over the past four games, Harris is averaging a solid 20 pointers per game. If he keeps this up, maybe Magic fans will forget about that dude who used to don the 12 jersey.
Well, maybe that’s taking it a little far, but Harris is proving that Orlando isn’t just a one pony town.