James Harden was out the second straight night with a sore right foot, and Chandler Parsons had some food poisoning problems. The Rockets still exploded for 90 points on 50.7 percent shooting over the first three periods.
James Anderson saw a starting role for the Rockets but struggled. He got some key baskets and boards but didn’t quite shoot with the efficiency the Rockets needed. That’s a worrisome factor for the Rockets despite the win. They need to get Parsons and Harden back because their subs, including Anderson, struggled.
For the season, Anderson is averaging 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds a game. He saw action in 10 San Antonio Spurs games and averaged 9.4 minutes in each, scoring 3.4 points and 1.4 boards per game with 44 percent shooting from the floor. He has been with the Rockets for 23 games and received two starts, while averaging 19.7 minutes a game.
Against the Magic, Anderson played for 39 minutes but shot 3-of-12 from the floor for nine points. That’s a very mediocre night, especially against a struggling team like Orlando. Two games prior to that, he was more impressive by shooting 4-of-9 and scored 10 points.
The Rockets need more help than that if they’re to play without the likes of Harden and Parsons. Those two players need to stay healthy as the team gets ready for the NBA playoffs.