The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Dwight Howard has double-double, Rockets pull away to beat Timberwolves 107-89

  • Print

MINNEAPOLIS - Keeping things simple is working just fine for the Houston Rockets.

Dwight Howard had 18 points and 15 rebounds, and the surging Rockets used a fourth-quarter push to hold off the Minnesota Timberwolves 107-89 Monday night for their sixth consecutive victory.

Chandler Parsons had 20 points and James Harden scored 19 for the Rockets, who have won six straight for the first time since taking seven in a row in January 2012. All five starters scored in double figures for Houston, which has won nine of 11 and 14 of 18.

"It's just not trying to make the spectacular play, giving up good shots for great shots, not forcing anything. That's what we've been doing really good lately and it's a lot more fun to play that way," Parsons said. "We have so many talented guys, we can be so balanced every single night."

The short-handed Timberwolves do not have that luxury right now.

Back after missing one game with a bruised left quadriceps, Kevin Love led Minnesota with 31 points and 10 rebounds. Chase Budinger had 15 points as a fill-in starter and Alexey Shved scored 11 off the bench for the Timberwolves, who have lost four straight and six of seven.

Ricky Rubio, who had three straight games in double figures, including a career-best 25 points on Saturday, was 2 of 10 for seven points.

Love's strong game — including a career-best 23 first-half points — was needed because Minnesota played without starting guard Kevin Martin (broken thumb) and centre Nikola Pekovic (right ankle bursitis).

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman also was absent due to personal reasons. He is expected back Wednesday.

Assistant coach Terry Porter filled in for Adelman, but was left scratching his head.

"Unfortunately for us, we couldn't make shots," Porter said. "Guys that normally make shots struggled. We had good looks, but just couldn't knock them down. On those misses, they ran out, got some easy baskets and extended the lead."

After its 15-point lead had dwindled to four, Houston scored the first 11 points of the fourth quarter to push its cushion to 93-78. Parsons had a pair of fast-break layups and a dunk to spark the run.

This time, the Rockets did not let Minnesota counter with a run, outscoring the Timberwolves 25-11 in the quarter — Minnesota's lowest-scoring period of the year.

"It's almost been like that three games in a row where we've been in pretty good position, either ahead or right within striking distance," Love said. "Then in those first few minutes the other team just gets off to a better start than you do and pushes the lead up. We just need to be better in the fourth quarter."

Howard said the key surge came about because the Rockets slowed things down.

"We didn't try to rush shots and rush down the floor and take bad shots. We took our time, shared the ball and got good shots," he said. "We do an excellent job of sharing the ball and finding an open man. When we do that it's hard for teams to decide what they're going to do, if they're going to double out the posts or stay with the 3-point shooters. We just want to make teams make tough decisions on the floor."

Down by nine at the break, Minnesota scored the first six points of the second half, but Patrick Beverley had five of his 14 points as Houston countered with a 12-0 spurt to extend its lead to 79-64.

The Rockets then began to work the shot clock, but couldn't get shots to fall. Instead, a 12-3 run got Minnesota within four heading into the fourth quarter.

Behind 10 points from Harden — including a pair of 3-pointers — Houston led 34-28 after one. Love had 17 points in the quarter, including 15 straight at one point for the Timberwolves.

Houston had two dunks and a pair of layups as part of a 10-2 run that bumped the lead to 56-45 with 3:43 to play in the second. The Rockets led 67-58 at the break, the most points Minnesota has allowed in a first half this season.

NOTES: The Timberwolves were 21 for 21 from the free throw line, but had no attempts in the fourth quarter. ... Houston, which averages an NBA-high 31.22 free throw attempts per game, had just 20. ... Minnesota starting forward Corey Brewer and centre Ronny Turiaf were a combined 3 for 8, scoring just seven points in 48 minutes. ... Houston is home Wednesday against Washington, its lone home game in an eight-game span.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Red River flooding north of Selkik at McIvor Lane

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press January 18, 2011 Local Standup -

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think the Raptors can come back and beat the Nets in their playoff series?

View Results

Ads by Google