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Rockets avoid regular season sweep in win over Timberwolves

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The Houston Rockets score 43 points in the third quarter to avoid a regular season sweep from the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Following a hard-fought win over the Phoenix Suns, the Houston Rockets recorded their second straight victory in a 117-102 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sunday night, at the Toyota Center in Houston. With the win, the Rockets avoided a regular season sweep against the Timberwolves, and are currently 11-2 since returning from the all-star break.

Coming out of the gates shooting 27.3 percent from deep, it was a tale of two halves for the Rockets as they trailed 30-26 after the first quarter. Early on, Houston’s struggle on offense was the least of their worries as Karl-Anthony Towns got off to a hot start, scoring 13 of his 22 points in the first 12 minutes.

Unfortunately for Minnesota, their hot start would not carry over to the rest of the game, as the Rockets took a 50-49 lead into halftime. Despite their shooting woes in the first 24 minutes (8-24 from deep), the Rockets came out firing on all cylinders in the second half. Houston connected on 10 3-pointers in the third and tied a franchise record of 43 points in a single quarter.

After taking a 93-78 lead into the fourth quarter, the Rockets cruised to their 11th victory in 12 games.

Although it was not an MVP worthy performance for James Harden, The Beard still had a solid night, with 20 points (8-24 from the field) and 10 assists in the win against the Timberwolves. While Harden took the backseat playing through an injury, his backcourt mate did a phenomenal job picking up the slack.

In one of his best performances of the season, Chris Paul led the Rockets in scoring with 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field, and an astonishing 6-for-7 from deep. Not only did the Point God put on a shooting display, but Paul also proved why he is one of the best floor generals in league history, dishing out 10 assists and seven rebounds.

Clint Capela had a solid night of 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Danuel House chipped in 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field, 2-for-3 from behind the arc.

For Minnesota, Josh Okogie ties his season-high of 21 points, while former number one pick, Andrew Wiggins, added 14 points in the loss.

Houston moves to 44-26 on the season and a home record of 26-10 for the year. Up next, the Rockets will travel to Atlanta for a Tuesday night showdown against the Hawks. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT.