James Harden continues to struggle, as he put up his worst game of the season. But no matter, Russell Westbrook showed us all why the Houston Rockets stepped up to trade for him, going for 45 points, 6 rebounds, and 10 assists in leading the good guys to a 131-124 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Russ also went 13-13 from the free throw line and shot zero attempts from three for the third time in the last four game in leading the Rockets to a 3-0 season series lead over Minnesota.
While it was good to come out of this road game with a win, The Beard kept up his recent issues by going just 3-13 from the field for a season-low 11 points to go with 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. Harden also spent some time on the sidelines stretching out his quad, so he’s definitely dealing with some nagging injuries right now.
No matter, the Rockets shot 51.5 percent from the field as a team, and they had several other guys step up in addition to Russ in absence of a good game from Harden.
Clint Capela had 18 points, 9 rebounds, an 5 blocked shots, while Eric Gordon went for 27 points off of the bench, including 6 triples. Austin Rivers also contributed big off of the bench, going for 16 points on 7-8 from the field, while Danuel House put up 8 points and 5 boards to round out a solid bench effort from Houston that outscored the Minny reserves 51-30.
The Timberwolves were led by Karl Anthony-Towns, who finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks, while Andrew Wiggins had 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. In addition, they got 17 from Josh Okogie and 10 from Robert Covington,
The Rockets have now won two games in a row after a four-game losing streak and now move to 28-16 on the season and are tied for fifth place in the Western Conference with the Dallas Mavericks.
Houston is off tomorrow night and will return Sunday afternoon against the Denver Nuggets, looking for their third straight win.
With Russ playing his ass off, if Harden can snap out of his funk at the same time, the Rockets will be in business.