James Harden dropped a casual 34 points and 12 assists while both he and Ryan Anderson shot 6-10 from deep to chase the Minnesota Timberwolves 126-108.
Tonight’s basketball should be checked for blisters after Houston shot 46.8% from three, 22-47, creating a 48 point disparity from deep between the two teams. Yes, Houston outscored Minnesota by 48 certified NBA basketball points from behind the three point line.
The game was a visible let down for Minnesota who hadn’t lost at home since December and knew the game was a potential playoff preview. The teams sit at second and third in the Western Conference standings.
This win arrived despite a 13 point deficit in the first quarter
Rockets trailed by 13 in the first quarter where the red and yellow boys tallied a uncharacteristic 23 points. They fought back to take a 54-50 lead at half, which they never relinquished.
Nene played a role as big as his biceps in the first quarter when Rocket shooters struggled. He led the team early with 7 points, hilariously finishing with just 8. His contributions deserve mention because of how bone dry the shooting was during this stretch.
Minnesota didn’t disapper until the fourth quarter when road Ryno arrived. Ryan Anderson came off the bench in this game, Luc Mbah a Moute started at power forward in his place, but erupted in the final frame.
The shooting big dug a grave for the Timberwolves with four straight three point makes from Steph Curry distances. They blew open the doors on a single digit lead and put Minnesota in the Rockets rearview. Anderson finished with 21 points.
He left the game to Gerald Green fanning him with a towel:
After tonight’s game, Gerald Green does what he can to cool down Ryan Anderson after an absolute clinic from deep.— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) February 14, 2018
6/10 from 3
7/12 for the game pic.twitter.com/6kjOAIYGi4
Ryno’s performance was eclipsed only by this Timberwolves tweet:
The Andersons got tickets to the game— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) February 14, 2018
Oh... I forgot. The Rockets have two Hall of Fame players. James Harden dropped a super casual 32 points and 12 assists. If you watched just the first three quarters of this game you wouldn’t believe he finished with 32.
Chris Paul had a game-high +22 while going for 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists.
On the other side, Karl Anthony Towns got stranded. Dude went for 35 points and 12 rebounds. None of the Rocket bigs had a legitimate answer for him down low. His supporting cast let him down, with the exception of Jeff Teague who scored 25 points.
The Timberwolves team as constructed can only hope to outscore the Rockets in a playoff matchup. Tonight they didn’t seem up to the challenge of doing that. Houston arrived ice cold for a February game and Minnesota couldn’t capitalize on it. They were outscored by 26 in the last three quarters.
Andrew Wiggins was held to 2-14 shooting and 7 points. This stat deserved it’s own line in this recap.
Lastly, Rockets fans got one minute of Aaron Brooks in garbage time. Yes. He’s still in the league and on the Timberwolves.