Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets Preview
Tonight, the Minnesota Timberwolves (32-37) will take on the Houston Rockets (43-26) at Toyota Center in Houston. It looks like James Harden will be a game-time decision as he’s currently dealing with a cervical strain and listed as questionable.
Wednesday night Houston had their nine-game winning streak snapped by the Warriors, but quickly bounced back by beating the Suns 108-102 on Friday. The Rockets have won 10 of their last 11 games and are an NBA best 10-2 record since the All-Star break. Even though Houston’s lost both meetings in Minnesota this season, The Timberwolves have lost their last 11 games in Houston. Tonight will also mark the last of a tough three-game road trip for the Timberwolves.
In the trips first two games they lost to playoff-bound Denver and Utah, so it’s really unfortunate they have to face another playoff-bound team tonight. Especially a Rocket team that’s arguably the NBA’s second-best team. Houston has won 10 of their last 11 games and sport an NBA best 10-2 record since the All-Star break. Houston’s already lost to Minnesota in both meetings they traveled there but have beaten the Timberwolves the last 11 times at Toyota Center.
Time: 9:00 pm ET
Arena: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Channel: ESPN, FSN+, ATSW
Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Lineup
In their last game, they lost to Utah and Karl-Anthony Towns had a game-high 26 points. That wasn’t nearly enough to beat the Jazz mostly because Andrew Wiggins and the bench was relatively nonexistent on a night. The team shot a combined 46.2 percent from the floor but shot an abysmal 5-of-24 from three. On the other hand, the Jazz had a pair of rotational players score in double figures, so it makes sense why they won. Towns added 12 rebounds and four assists to his scoring total, while Wiggins finished with 14 points and three rebounds. Guard Tyus Jones had 12 points, three rebounds and nine assists in the 120-100 loss.
The Timberwolves have now lost six of their last nine games and currently sit 7.5 games behind the Clippers for the 8th seed in the west. Hopefully, they could avoid a third straight loss, but it will be really difficult upsetting a Houston team that has been struggling a bit for their high standards. Before the season started everyone knew Houston would be a good team, but I doubt the Timberwolves predicted a trip to Denver would be one of their toughest games on the season. Throw in the fact they had to face a tough Utah team and it makes sense why they’re on a two-game losing streak.
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
The Rockets have struggled with three-point shooting in their past two games. Against Phoenix, James Harden and company missed shot after shot in an attempt to desperately find some rhythm from beyond the arc. The Rockets finished with a combined 27.5 percent shooting from long distance after going 11-of-40. That’s very similar to their previous game against the Warriors where they shot 26.8 percent and 11-of-4.
Many consider Houston the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference, but it’s concerning they’ve struggled with shooting in back to back games. If they weren’t playing Phoenix last night, there’s a good chance they’d be on a two-game losing streak instead of looking for a two-game winning streak. Chris Paul was rested against Phoenix but is expected to suit up tonight. Having Harden and Paul on the floor together would probably too much for a Minnesota that is young and extremely top heavy.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets Betting Odds
The Houston Rockets are favored by 7.5 points tonight. They are 25-10 at Toyota Center and 33-19 when favored. The Timberwolves have a road record of 9-27 and are 11-22 as the underdog.
The over/under is 225 points with Houston being -330 on the money line.