The Minnesota Timberwolves' poor offense in the second, and horrendous defense in the fourth, proved to be their downfall as they lost to the Houston Rockets at home 126-108.
1. The Wolves could do nothing to stop James Harden and the Rockets' three-point attack. Harden scored 34 points on 10-20 shooting, 6-10 from three and 8-9 from the line, and added 13 assists and six rebounds. Meanwhile as a team the Rockets hit 22-47 three-point shots, good for 46.8 percent from three, as five players hit two or more threes.
2. Houston, a team with James Harden, Chris Paul, and big bench scorer Eric Gordon did not see two of those three in the top two in scoring for the Rockets, but instead, the second highest scorer of the game for Houston came from bench power forward Ryan Anderson. Anderson, more known for his massive contract than his offensive output at this point, scored 21 on 7-12 shooting, hitting 6-10 from beyond the arc, as he shot 4-6 from three in the fourth quarter to help seal the win for the Rockets. Anderson, by himself, tied the number of threes made by the Timberwolves as a team. Anderson has had his moments in the past, but so far this season, he is averaging 10 points a game, and in his past four outings he scored only 13 points combined, scoring zero twice, and didn't even see the floor against the Miami Heat last Wednesday. Yes, Anderson has a sweet stroke, but the Wolves defense on him was appalling.
3. Andrew Wiggins meanwhile was absolutely putrid. Wiggins played 41 minutes, and in those 41 minutes, he was a minus-25 for the game scoring only seven points. To get those seven, he went 2-14 from the field, and 0-5 from three, while hitting 3-4 shots at the line.
1. Jeff Teague had himself a good game. Teague scored 25 points on 10-15 shooting, including going 2-3 from beyond the arc and a perfect 3-3 at the line. In addition to that, Teague had eight assists, and only one turnover while grabbing five rebounds.
2. Speaking of turnovers, the Wolves did an outstanding job of holding onto the ball, as they committed only eight turnovers. Teague, Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns each committed one, while Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson had none, same for Tyus Jones. Meanwhile, Gorgui Dieng would commit three in 12 minutes (he also would have four fouls), and Jamal Crawford had two.
3. Towns also had a good game despite fouling out. Towns scored 35 points on 12-16 shooting, 2-3 from three, and 9-9 at the line. Towns also grabbed 12 rebounds, five offensive, while dishing out three assists, and blocking three shots, and collecting one steal.
The Wolves have one more game before the All-Star break as they host the upstart Los Angeles Lakers at 8 p.m. on Thursday at the Target Center.