NBA: Rockets rally past Wolves, end four-game skid

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Mar 11 2020 11:00 AM

James Harden scored a game-high 37 points, and Russell Westbrook added 27 while keying a decisive stretch late in the third quarter as the Houston Rockets beat the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves 117-111 on Tuesday.

After Westbrook had a hand in all of the points in a 10-0 run that closed the third quarter, Harden took the baton early in the fourth with two 3-pointers sandwiched around a floater that lifted the Rockets to their first double-digit lead of the game at 99-89 with 6:35 left to play.

Austin Rivers, whose 3-pointer beat the buzzer to end the third, added a trey to cap the run and build the lead to 13.

The Rockets snapped a four-game losing skid with the comeback. Harden and Westbrook combined to shoot 22 of 36, with Harden connecting on half of his 10 3-point attempts. Both recorded seven assists, with Harden feeding Eric Gordon (16 points) for a pair of decisive 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

Westbrook had seven consecutive points before assisting on the Rivers 3-pointer that capped the third.

D'Angelo Russell paced the Timberwolves with 28 points and five assists while Juancho Hernangomez posted 18 points and 10 rebounds. Rookie Jarrett Jarrett Culver scored 12 points off the bench for Minnesota, which shot 48.2 percent but fell for the fifth time in seven games.

The Rockets experienced another case of first-half doldrums, spiraling a bit late in the opening quarter. Starting with a Russell 3-pointer at the 3:04 mark of the first, Minnesota fashioned a run that extended a two-point lead to 35-26 by the close of the period. James Johnson capped that stretch with a trey with two seconds remaining in the period, but this time, Houston clawed back.

Harden scored 11 points in the second quarter, largely by hunting Russell via switches. Harden made unmolested forays to the lane and also mixed in a 3-pointer during the period.

However, after Harden's two free throws with 23 seconds left cut the deficit to 54-52, Russell matched Harden with two free throws, part of an individual stretch of 13 consecutive Minnesota points bridging the middle two periods.

--Field Level Media

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