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Harden scores 21 points to lead Rockets to 108--104 win over Magic

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    Orlando Magic's Solomon Jones (22) keeps the ball away from Houston Rockets' Donatas Motiejunas in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)The Associated Press

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    Orlando Magic coach Jacque Vaughn talks with Kyle O'Quinn during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)The Associated Press

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    Houston Rockets' Reggie Williams (55) is fouled by Orlando Magic's Solomon Jones, left, as Kris Joseph (32) defends during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)The Associated Press

James Harden had 21 points and five rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets to a 108-104 win over the Orlando Magic in a preseason game Wednesday night.

Harden finished 7 of 12 from the field, including 4 of 6 from behind the arc in 18 minutes - all in the first half. Harden had 15 points in the first quarter, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Houston a 33-29 lead after one en route to a 61-53 halftime lead.

Patrick Beverley added 13 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes, and Dwight Howard had eight points and four rebounds in 18 minutes — also all in the first half — to lead the Rockets (3-1) to their third straight preseason win.

Reserce Manny Harris led the Magic (1-3) with 17 points on 8-of-16 shooting in 23 minutes.

Houston played without Jeremy Lin, who was sent home due to illness.