Evan Fournier said the Orlando Magic felt they had lost to James Harden only after giving up another 10 3-pointers in an overwhelming Houston Rockets victory.
The Rockets won 130-107 on the road as Harden scored 10 baskets from behind for the second consecutive game.
He finished with 54 points, scored 50 for the fourth time in his last seven games and added seven assists, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals in a 36-minute performance that even Magic fans applauded.
Russell Westbrook had 23 points and Ben McLemore added 18, but it was Harden who was the centerpiece of Magic’s thoughts.
“I feel like we just lost him,” said Evan Fournier of Magic, per ESPN, after Friday’s loss. “He is the MVP for a reason. We talked to pregame that he would get shots and only live with the results.
Orlando coach Steve Clifford added: “When it comes to tops, I don’t know what you can do.”
Harden now has 2,152 career 3-pointers and has surpassed Paul Pierce for up to eight on the NBA roster.
Fournier had 27 points and Aaron Gordon added 21, but Magic couldn’t live with the Rockets’ scoring power.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said: “When James is like this, it’s hard to hit us.
“Regardless of the type of defense you are about to throw, we have kids, we just shot the ball very well.”
The Rockets won six of their last eight to move to 17-8, good for fourth in the Western Conference.
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