PBT Extra Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Houston Rockets

Jose Verdugo
Abril 16, 2018

Elsewhere on the Worldwide Leader, Zach Lowe and David Thorpe recorded an eight minute podcast just on the Minnesota-Houston series.

James Harden scored only 10 points in the January game, but he was returning from missing seven games with an injury.

Instead, the Rockets went on a run. Harden scored 13 fourth-quarter points, including 10 straight to give the Rockets a 99-91 lead with just more than three minutes to play.

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Houston kept All-Star big man Towns in check, limiting him to just eight points after he'd averaged 21.3 in leading the Wolves to their first playoff appearance since 2014. Andrew Wiggins is a stud for the games he shows up and plays focused. Harden, who also had a steal in that span, capped the run with a 3-pointer that prompted Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau to call a timeout. Outside of Clint Capela, there isn't anyone in Houston's regular rotation that would be able to slow down Towns, or even Taj Gibson for that matter. Over the next two quarters, they outscored the high-powered Rockets, who led the National Basketball Association in point differential, by two points. Harden took over after that, scoring the last six points of the quarter to leave Houston up 76-72 entering the fourth.

Minnesota, dominated by the Rockets during the four-game regular season series, led 86-85 on two free throws from Jamal Crawford (15 points) with 6:49 remaining. But the Timberwolves got going after that and had tied it up by late in the first quarter. At no point did Butler take over the game, finishing with 13 points.

Rockets: Ryan Anderson missed the game with a sprained left ankle. Capela had 20 points and 10 rebounds at halftime, but was limited in the second half and added just four more points and two rebounds. There were two off days before Game 1, two more before Game 2 and two more before Game 3.

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