Houston returns home to face Orlando

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets stopped a losing streak last time out and they'll try to build on that momentum Tuesday when they return home to host the Orlando Magic at the Toyota Center.

The Rockets went 2-2 on a recent road trip and are back in Houston for three games against Orlando, the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns.

On Sunday, the Rockets spoiled Blake Griffin's return to the lineup with a 100-98 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

James Harden posted 34 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in his pursuit for the MVP award. Harden shot 17-for-18 from the foul line, with his lone miss coming in the closing seconds. He split a pair with 12 seconds left that could have made it a three-point game, but Chris Paul hit nothing but air with a baseline jumper at the horn.

"Trevor (Ariza) contested Chris' shot and we were lucky he missed," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale. "It's a big win for us."

Terrence Jones gave 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Ariza scored 19 for the Rockets, who are two games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for fourth in the Western Conference.

Houston is just a half-game outside the Portland Trail Blazers for third in the jam-packed Western Conference.

The Magic have lost four straight and hit the road for two in a row. They'll visit the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, but the road hasn't been kind to the Magic. They've dropped 10 consecutive games as the visitor, dating back to a Jan. 12 win in Chicago.

On Sunday, Orlando's skid reached four thanks to a 123-108 home thrashing by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Orlando got 22 points and 15 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic and 25 points out of Victor Oladipo. Tobias Harris added 24, while Elfrid Payton went for 13 points, 10 assists and nine boards.

Luke Ridnour chipped in 15 off the bench.

"This is one of those teams that if you're not perfect, if they are not having off night, it's going to be a very difficult game," Magic coach James Borrego said.

The Cavs didn't lead in the first quarter but went ahead for the first time 11 seconds into the second on a James Jones 3 and never looked back.

The Magic allowed the Cavaliers to shoot 59.2 percent for the game and 51.4 percent from long range.

Orlando beat Houston at home on Jan. 14 to stem a four-game series losing streak. The Rockets have won two straight as the host over the Magic.