Houston takes 4-game winning streak into Orlando

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets have won five games in a row just once this season and will try to reach that mark Wednesday against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center.

The Rockets started the season with six straight wins and are currently riding a four-game winning streak. They headed to the Big Apple to face the Brooklyn Nets on Monday and came away with a 113-99 victory behind James Harden's 30 points.

Harden leads the NBA with 26.9 points per game and is averaging 28.2 ppg in his previous 12 games. He has scored 30 or more points 16 times this season.

Donatas Motiejunas scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Dwight Howard finished with only eight points and five rebounds, and Josh Smith netted 13 points for the Rockets. The Rockets have won three in a row on the road and are 14-5 as the visitor.

Tempers were heated in this matchup at Barclays Center, as Howard and Nets big man Kevin Garnett almost came to blows. The two were tangled underneath the basket in the first quarter, and Garnett was later ejected for throwing the ball at Howard and head-butting him after he was shoved in the mid section.

The two then stepped towards one another, with Garnett delivering a head butt to Howard's jaw and the latter retaliating with an open right hand to the face before both players were ultimately restrained.

"In the good old days, that was a play-on. Now, they throw people out," said Rockets head coach Kevin McHale. "I didn't think it was a big deal."

Garnett was suspended one game without pay for initiating the altercation and head-butting Howard, who was fined $15,000 for pushing Garnett in the neck area.

Houston will return to Space City for the next three games versus Oklahoma City. Golden State and Indiana.

The Magic are back home from their four-game sojourn (1-3) and will play the next three games at Amway Center versus Houston, Memphis and Oklahoma City.

Orlando is winless in its last four home games and 4-12 in central Florida. It did put the brakes on a six-game slide with Monday's 121-114 triumph over the Chicago Bulls, as Nikola Vucevic and Victor Oladipo both scored 33 points.

Oladipo scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, Vucevic grabbed 11 rebounds and Elfrid Payton rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points for the Magic, whose 121 points and 59.3 percent shooting were a season-high. Orlando led by as many as 17 points in the second half and later saw its lead trimmed to 109-104.

The Bulls got no closer the rest of the way.

Magic guard Evan Fournier (knee) and forward Tobias Harris (ankle) are both questionable Wednesday.

Orlando lost both games against Houston last season and will visit the Rockets March 17 at the Toyota Center. Houston has won four straight against Orlando after losing the previous five games in this series.

Howard was drafted No. 1 overall by Orlando in the 2005 NBA Draft and spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Magic, including an NBA Finals appearance in 2009.