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Olajuwon, Cassell launch Rockets to win over Magic

Hakeem Olajuwon scored 26 points and Sam Cassell had all of his 16 points in the second half as Houston held off Orlando 97-85 Tuesday night, snapping the Magic's seven-game winning streak.

Former FSU star Cassell didn't score his first basket until 1:19 remained in the third quarter before equaling his season high as the Rockets ended a two-game losing streak.

"Sam came in and added a new dimension to our offense," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Our offense has been struggling, but now as a coach, I can see some new possibilities."

Anfernee Hardaway and Dennis Scott each scored 21 points for Orlando, which remained winless in The Summit at 0-7.

"Houston's just a better basketball team," Orlando coach Brian Hill said. "They came out with a lot of energy. It's a credit for Rudy getting his team up after playing last night."

Olajuwon also helped hold Shaquille O'Neal, the NBA's leading scorer, to 19 points on 8-for-19 shooting and was aided underneath by Otis Thorpe's 19 rebounds.

"They really came out and swarmed on defense against Shaq, and it was tough to get him 1-on-1," Hill said.

Still, Olajuwon talked about O'Neal rather about than his own performance.

"He's the best right now, what he's doing is unbelievable," Olajuwon said. "I wonder what he'll be doing in a couple of years. He gives me more trouble than anyone else."

Houston took control from the start, with Kenny Smith scoring eight of the Rockets' first 12 points to lead an 18-2 charge early in the game.

The Magic rallied late in the first quarter, but it never got closer than 27-23 at the end of the first period.

The Rockets led 50-37 at the half, aided by the Magic's cold shooting.

Orlando hit 50 percent in the third period but did little to cut into Houston's lead.