The Minnesota Timberwolves will have their fourth and final meeting with the Houston Rockets, Friday night in Houston at the Toyota Center. The Timberwolves currently sit at 14-16 on the season and 6-6 away from the Target Center. The Rockets are 17-13 and are currently 11-3 at home.
Since their last meeting on Feb. 4th. Both teams have played six games. The Wolves are 2-4 over that time, while the Rockets went 4-2.
The Minnesota Timberwolves' last game was that win over the Charlotte Bobcats, in which they erupted for 30 third quarter points while holding Charlotte to just 18. Love had 30pts & 18rebs, Pek added 21pts, 11rebs, 3blks and Barea had 12pts, 8ast off the bench.
The Houston Rockets' last game was a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Rockets prevailed in the final seconds. Kevin Durant threw up three shots in the final 16 seconds of play, the Rockets finally rebounded the last shot and came away victorious with a 96-95 win. Martin had 32pts on 10-18 from the field, 4-7 from three and a perfect 8-8 from the line, Chandler Parsons added 14pts, 7rebs, 2stls and Lowry had 11pts, 4rebs, 9ast & 2stls.
The Wolves & Rockets have already played each other three times this season. Minnesota will be looking to win the season series with a victory. While the Rockets will be looking to tie the season series with a victory.
This game could get interesting. If you remember, in the last meeting Kevin Love stomped on the face/chest of Luis Scola after knocking him to the floor. Love received a two-game suspension. Love said that after the game he & Scola talked in the locker room and later that night had drinks to clear the air. I wouldn't expect any further incident. But, I'll be watching that matchup closely!
Kevin Love is averaging 31.0ppg vs. the Rockets this season and will look to continue his dominance and I don't see any reason why he wouldn't. The last time these two teams played in Houston, Love scored 39pts!
According to AccuScore, Houston are the favorites by five points. I, of course don't agree, but I can guarantee it'll be a close, physical and fun game to watch!
Neither team has any significant injuries. The Wolves are still without Malcolm Lee as he rehabs his knee, that he says is currently at 90%. He's likely facing another D-League stint soon, but he hasn't played yet this season. Darko Milicic was recovering from a sprained ankle. He played 4 minutes vs. Orlando on Monday and had 1 block & 3 fouls, in the last game vs. Charlotte he didn't get off the bench (listed as a did not play-coach's decision). I wonder if Darko isn't playing because of an injury or if he's been worked out of the rotation...
If the Wolves want to win, they need to stop Kevin Martin. K-Mart is easily their best scorer. In their last meeting, though: he finished with just 2pts on 1-of-10 shooting. Love should have no problem with Scola. So the last key matchup is definitely Rubio vs. Lowry. Kyle Lowry is a triple-double threat every game out, he may not score in bunches every game out (averaging 14.8ppg), but his assists, rebounding & defense is what could easily make him a leading candidate for Most Improved Player of the Year.
That's all I've got for now. Tipoff is set for 7pmCT, enjoy the game and check back with us for a full gameday recap following the final horn. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!