Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
The Houston Rockets will be on the road tonight as they travel to Minnesota for a matchup against the Timberwolves in the final game before All-Star break for both teams.
Last time these teams met, Houston was looking to get over the .500 mark. What a difference two months make as the Rockets are now fifth in the Western Conference with a 33-23 record. They are 7-3 in their last 10 and enter tonight’s game-winning their most previous game. Minnesota has continued to struggle. The Timberwolves are 26-30 on the season and are in 12th place in the West. Minnesota is 4-6 in their last 10 and also won their most recent game.
This will be the second game of the regular season series between the Rockets and Timberwolves. Minnesota took the win in the first game 103-91 back on December 3, as Karl-Anthony Towns led the Wolves with 24 points and 11 rebounds. James Harden had a stat line most people may not be familiar with seeing him tied to as he finished the game with 29 points and eight assists, which came before his current streak of games with 30 or more points.
Time: 8:00 pm ET
Arena: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
The Rockets’ three-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday in a 112-117 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the Rockets bounced back with a 120-104 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. A 39-point second quarter gave the Rockets an early lead the Mavericks could not fight back from.
James Harden just eclipsed the 30-point mark with 31 points, extending his hot streak. He also had eight rebounds and seven assists. Gerald Green has continued his strong play off the bench with 19 points and six rebounds in just 22 minutes. Eric Gordon had 18 points and Kenneth Faried and Chris Paul had 17 points apiece in the win.
Although Harden has some shoulder soreness, he won’t sit out tonight as he attempts to extend his streak to 31 consecutive games with at least 30 points. Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni says he hopes to keep Harden’s minutes to the 35-minute mark he reached against Dallas.
Whereas Harden started this streak basically carrying the Rockets on his back as they dealt with injuries, Houston is starting to become a much more balanced offense, which should allow Harden to rest more as we get into the late season.
Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Lineup
The Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a four-game skid with a 130-120 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. With the Clippers having three starters combine for just nine points, they needed a huge effort from Lou Williams, who had 45 points to get the Clippers within reach of rallying back.
But the Timberwolves outscored the Clippers in all but one quarter to give them the win. Minnesota utilized a balanced scoring effort to secure the win. They were led by Karl-Anthony Towns, who had 24 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Derrick Rose came off the bench for 22 points.
Dario Saric had been struggling in the transition from the Philadelphia 76ers, but coach Ryan Saunders started Saric on Monday and has said that he plans on continuing to start Saric over Taj Gibson. The start seemed to help Saric as he finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, and the move to the bench didn’t seem to hurt Gibson at all, who chipped in 14 points in 21 minutes.
With Andrew Wiggins and Robert Covington out, Saunders had to turn to Luol Deng to start. Deng has not started since 2017, but he had 12 points and nine rebounds in 38 minutes.
Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves Betting Odds
Against the spread, the Rockets are 26017-13 and Minnesota is 28-15-13. The Timberwolves are 18-10 at home and 12-13 after a win, while the Rockets are 13-14 on the road and 20-12 after a win.
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