Rookie Gorgui Dieng, who started at center buried a jumper with 4.6 seconds to play that was ultimately the game winner. Dieng also received his Rookie of the Month trophy prior to tonight's game for the month of March.
However, the star was Corey Brewer. On another night in which the Wolves were without 60% of their usual starting lineup (Love, Martin, Pekovic) as well as some key reserves (Budinger & Muhammad) it was on the shoulders of some unlikely offensive options to get the job done against another offensive juggernaut in the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets themselves were without 40% of their usual starting lineup (Beverley & Howard), which meant more looks for Harden (33 points) and Parsons (27 points).
Brewer's previous career-high was 29 points a mark that he surpassed midway through the third quarter. Corey scored 16 in the opening frame, 10 apiece in the second and third and topped it off for a 15-point finale to boost a Wolves team without their top three scorers to a victory in which they were still able to score 112 points!
Not only is Brewer's 51 points a new career-high, it also ties the franchise record for most points in a game. A distinction he now holds with Kevin Love (who previously set the record in that triple overtime game of March 2010 vs. the OKC Thunder). Brewer is the lone record-holder of the franchise record for most points in a regulation game (previously held by Kevin Garnett, 47). Brewer is the fifth player this season to score 50+ or more in a game, he joins OKC's Kevin Durant (twice), Toronto's Terrence Ross, Miami's LeBron James and New York's Carmelo Anthony.
Overshadowed in Brewer's career night was the play from rookie Gorgui Dieng as well as some great contributions from Dante Cunningham and Ricky Rubio. The last time the Wolves played the Rockets, Dieng scored 21 points and grabbed 22 rebounds. Tonight he scored 12 points (including the game winner) and finished with 20 rebounds as well. Dante Cunningham who drew his 7th start of the season in place of the injured Kevin Love scored a season-high 20 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds. Rubio also double-doubled with 15 points, 5 rebounds & 10 assists.
Here's a look at tonight's full box score...
The Wolves are now 40-39. This is the first time since 2004-05 that the Wolves have won 40+ games (they went 44-38 in 04-05, also not making the playoffs that year). If the Wolves can win on more game in their final three outings they'll finish with a .500 or better record for the first time since (obviously) 2004-05, as well.
The Wolves will face the Kings on Sunday night in Sacramento for their 80th game of the year. That one will tip at 8pmCST, enjoy!