Sport

NBA Playoffs: Breakding down the Rockets vs. Timberwolves series

NBA Playoffs: Breakding down the Rockets vs. Timberwolves series

Game 1 is set for 8 p.m. Sunday in Houston and can be heard on WCCO Radio 830 AM. Minnesota has to get production from Gorgui Dieng, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson (12.2 points, 7.1 rebounds), Tyus Jones and Nemanja Bjelica as their bench group.

The Rockets had managed just six points in the quarter when Gerald Green made a basket with to cut the lead to 1 with about five minutes left in the third. Game 1 in Boston was an overtime thriller, with the Celtics squeaking out a win over the Bucks.

Instead, the Rockets went on a run. They have two elite playmakers in Chris Paul and James Harden.

The likely 2017-18 Most Valuable Player torched Minnesota down the stretch. James Harden leads the team with 30.4 points per game while grabbing 5.4 boards and dishing out 8.8 assists a night.




The Wolves scored the first nine points of the second half to take a 56-54 lead.

While the Rockets fire three pointers from every position on the court, Minnesota counters with center Karl-Anthony Towns and All-Star guard Jimmy Butler. The Minnesota Timberwolves waited 13 years to make the playoffs while the Houston Rockets spent the best part of the last two months of the regular season waiting for the playoffs. Houston is 1 in the league with 15.3 threes a night while the team is tied for 13 by shooting 36.2 percent from long range this season. Minnesota's defense has struggled this year, and unless they pick it up, they could be swept by the NBA's most electric offensive team. Also, combine the Timberwolves road scoring with the Rockets home scoring and you get 222 points per game. This is going to be as much about his teammates getting him the ball as it is anything Towns can do, but the best chance Minnesota has at slowing the Rockets down is feeding Towns, giving him high percentage looks and kicking the ball out to open shooters rather than playing iso-ball or settling for contested jumpers on the perimeter.

It's tough to see Houston shooting as poorly as it did Sunday at any points through the remainder of the series, and the Wolves still couldn't take advantage.

Rockets: Ryan Anderson missed the game with a sprained left ankle.