Orlando Magic blast past fading Houston Rockets

ORLANDO (Reuters) - The Orlando Magic blew away the slumping Houston Rockets in the third quarter en route to a 110-95 win and their eighth consecutive victory on Friday.

The Rockets kept pace early to trail 53-50 at halftime, but the Magic racked up 17 unanswered points in the third quarter to take command and send the Rockets crashing to their fourth successive loss.

Brandon Bass and Jason Richardson scored 18 points each to lead the Magic, while Ryan Anderson scored 16 off the bench.

Dwight Howard was limited to just under 27 minutes due to foul trouble but contributed a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

"A lot of what Brandon (Bass) and Ryan (Anderson) got tonight was because of the way people play on Dwight."

Rockets guard Kevin Martin led all scorers with 27 points, but scored just eight in the second half while the Rockets offense fell apart.

Luis Scola scored 14 points and Patrick Patterson added 12 off the bench for Houston.

"We just fell apart in the third quarter," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "We struggled offensively and we just gave in on the other end."

(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario. Editing by Ian Ransom and Alastair Himmer)