Orlando Magic make baskets appear, beat Houston Rockets

ORLANDO -- Hedo Turkoglu scored 23 points to lead five Magic players in double figures as Orlando earned its first victory of the season with a 104-95 win over Houston on Monday night.

Orlando got 13 points from Turkoglu and eight points from J.J. Redick in the fourth quarter to help the Magic stave off a handful of second-half charges by the Rockets. Dwight Howard finished with 21 points and Redick 20.

Kyle Lowry led Houston with 20 points and 12 assists, Luis Scola added 19 and Courtney Lee 15 off the bench.

The Rockets trailed by as many as 12 points and got within four in the fourth quarter, but the Magic were able to hit some timely 3-pointers late to help secure the victory.

Center Samuel Dalembert, who’s signing with Houston became official on Monday, had 10 points.

Houston hung tough early, but were done in shooting 43 percent (36 for 82) from the field for the game and 22 percent (6 for 27) from beyond the arc.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy derided his team’s offensive energy in its Christmas night loss at Oklahoma City.

Howard shot just 4 for 12 from the field in the game, but was active from the opening tap Monday and helped stimulate the flow for his teammates as Orlando took a 53-50 advantage into halftime.

He connected on 8 of his first 9 attempts Monday and led all scorers with 16 first-half points.