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The Rockets finally closed out a game

Their biggest bugaboo in their slump didn’t return against Orlando

NBA: Orlando Magic at Houston Rockets Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The past couple of games, the Houston Rockets have giving up some pretty big leads.

The Rockets lost to the Atlanta Hawks after having a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter, and then they eked out an overtime win over the Chicago Bulls after having a 17-point lead.

Tuesday, that same old feeling started creeping back up, after the Rockets piled up a 27-point lead the Orlando Magic ended up cutting the lead to 10 points in the fourth quarter.

This time, rather than panic and let the Magic get closer, the Rockets clamped down on defense and started hitting shots.

"We got stops and got out and got some easy buckets," James Harden said.

The 10-point lead would get stretched back out to 24 as the Rockets took home the win, 128-104.

After a crazy first part of the season, with travel and back-to-backs and playing more games than any other team through January, the Rockets just had three days off. With those days came rest and a rare practice.

While they weren't able to blow out Magic coast to coast, they did not follow the same script as games past. When the Magic got close, they stepped back on the gas and took the game out of reach.

With the Rockets able to close out Tuesday's game, Harden shared that not only was he happy about that, he wants the team to keep it up as they head to the All-Star break.

"These next four games before the break are going to be extremely important for us," Harden said. “Especially on the defensive end, to kind of build some momentum.”