The Houston Rockets defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-100 on Monday to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Rockets used a monster third quarter to blow open the game outscoring the Timberwolves 50-20. It was a one point lead for the Rockets at the half 50-49 before they went on 11-0 run to start the third and eventually blew it open.
The Rockets MVP James Harden led all scorers with 36 points on 12-26 shooting and scored 22 of his 36 in the third. He danced on the Timberwolves defenders all night getting to the basket, making threes, and getting his teammates shots. He was the best player on the floor from start to finish. He got help from Chris Paul who scored 25 points and had 6 rebounds and 6 assist. Clint Capela had another very productive game for the Rockets with a double-double scoring 14 points and grabbing 17 rebounds (7 off). Eric Gordon also chipped in with 18 points off the bench in 30 minutes.
The Rockets were a plus 24 from three which was no surprise for team that attempted the most three during the regular season. They also had 11 steals and forced 16 Timberwolves turnovers.
The Timberwolves who had a chance at halftime being only down one now have to travel back to Houston on the brink of elimination. They were led by Karl Anthony-Towns who finally had a game to be proud of for a player of his caliber scoring 22 points and pulling down 15 rebounds. The Wolves are going to need the same type of game if they plan on getting a Game 6 back to Minneapolis. All-Star and their most consistent player throughout this series Jimmy Butler had 19 points and 9 rebounds. They also got a spark off the bench from former league MVP Derrick Rose who scored 17 points on 7-11 shooting.
The Rockets just aren’t a good matchup for the Timberwolves they spread the floor with three point shooters and have probably still one of the best pick and roll playmakers in the game in Chris Paul and arguably the best one on one player in the game in James Harden. That’s just tough to beat and I don’t believe those two allow it to get back to Minnesota.
Game 5: Wednesday 4/25 6:30 PT
What To Watch For: Can the Timberwolves keep Harden from playing one on one basketball?
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