The Minnesota Timberwolves have now defeated the Houston Rockets for the third time this season. This was the last meeting of these two teams (in the regular season) as the Wolves win the season series 3-1.
The Timberwolves frontcourt was key in this one as Pekovic & Love combined for 63pts, 29rebs, 3stls, 5blks, shot 24-36 FG (67%) and played a combined 84 minutes! Total domination by the Wolves frontcourt that's beginning to look like one of the better 4, 5 combos in the League!
It was kept close through the first two quarters. The Wolves were up just one-point after one quarter and they held a 7 point lead (61-54) through the first half. Then, the Timberwolves (definitely a second-half team) took over in the the third quarter and were able to push the lead to 17 points at one point! The Timberwolves went on a big run to grab that lead. But this one became a game of runs. The Rockets went on one of their own, so much so that they cut the Wolves' lead to just one point. The TWolves never gave up the lead and quickly answered to finish the game on a 16-4 run to win this one by 13!
The Timberwolves moved to one game under .500, 15-16 and one game over .500, 7-6 on the road this season! The Rockets move to 17-14 this season, which still keeps them ahead of Minnesota in the Western Conference. The Rockets also fell to 11-4 at home (two of those losses to the Wolves).
During that fourth quarter Kevin Love showed why he is the NBA's best power forward. He scored the first 12 points of the quarter for the Wolves and finished with 14 of the Wolves' 20 final quarter points! Rubio added 4 & Pek had 2.
The Rockets had five of their players reach double figures with impressive performances from Parsons (18pts, 6rebs, 3ast), Lee (17pts, 2rebs, 1ast, 2stls) & Lowry (17pts, 3rebs, 6ast). Scola had a bad night with just 10pts & 4rebs on 5-of-13 shooting and the Rocket's best player, Martin, finished with 16pts, 3ast, 1stl on 4-of-11 shooting. When Martin has big games, the Rockets usually grab the win--tonight Minnesota held him to just 6pts in the final three quarters (none in the fourth quarter) after Martin had 10pts in the first quarter.
For the TWolves, beyond Love & Pek, Rubio had a big game. Rubio scored 18pts, 2rebs, 9ast, 1stl. Ridnour also added 9pts, 6rebs, 6ast, 1stl. Even Wes Johnson performed well. He had 9pts, 5rebs, 3ast, 2blks, shot 4-of-6 FG in 29 minutes, while posting a +23 +/-. The Timberwolves had 13 active players, but played just 8 total players. Off the bench came three players: Martell Webster (3pts, 1ast, 1blk), Beasley (6pts, 2rebs, 3ast, 2stls, 3-7 FG), Williams (3pts, 1-2 FG).
One of the Timberwolves main reserves (J.J. Barea) didn't play tonight, here's why: http://mnwolves.weebly.com/1/post/2012/02/jj-out-vs-houston-11712.html
Tonight it was all about ball movement. Guys were 'swinging the ball' finding the open man and hitting the easy, open shots! The Wolves finished with 24 assists, but did still turn the ball over 19 times. 6 turnovers came in the third quarter, another 6 came in the fourth quarter. The Timberwolves crushed the Rockets on the boards 44-26. The Rockets got back in the game with their three-point shooting. They shot an impressive 50% from deep (10-20), compared to Minnesota's 5-15 from deep.
That's all for now. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!