Skip to content

Love puts up a big line, but balanced Rockets keep rolling to sixth straight win

Feb 11, 2014, 1:30 AM EDT

Houston Rockets v Minnesota Timberwolves Getty Images

Just before the All-Star break and a celebration of the game’s biggest names we bring you this reminder:

Basketball is still a team game.

The Timberwolves’ Kevin Love was the best scorer on the floor Monday night when Houston came to Minnesota. With no Kevin Martin (thumb) and no Nikola Pekovic it puts a lot more on Love’s plate and he was trying, knocking down midrange jumpers (5-of-8 from there), attacking and getting to the line (12-of-12 from there) and he ended up with 31 points.

However the Rockets were the better team — all five starters had at least 14 points and at least 11 shots (a sign of balance). They were moving the ball which led to hitting Patrick Beverly for open threes (4-of-8) or Dwight Howard as he was rim running. The result was an eFG% of 54.3 percent for the Rockets compared to 39 percent for the Timberwolves. Another reminder: if you shoot the ball better you usually win.

The Rockets did win, 107-89, their sixth straight victory. This was the Timberwolves fourth straight loss.

Houston had made this recent run thanks to their offense, which had averaged 114 points per 100 possessions in the previous five wins, and they had a good but not as great 107.2 points per 100 Monday night.

But they used some timely defense and bad shooting by Minnesota to hold the Timberwolves to 91.5. The problem for the Timberwolves was the missed shots, their poor floor balance off those misses, and a few turnovers led to some easy buckets for the Rockets going the other way. Minnesota could never make up that ground.

Minnesota was packing it in early on Dwight Howard but the Rockets still had 18 more points in the paint. Houston would have actually likely blown this game open in the second quarter had it not been for the fact they had turnovers on 19 percent of their possessions on the night — the sloppy turnovers killed their runs and kept Minnesota hanging around.

Until the start of the fourth, when the Rockets went on an 11-0 run to pull away for good. They got eight points from Chandler Parsons in that quarter, he finished with a team high 20, and Howard had four of his 18 points in the final frame (he finished with 15 rebounds, too). Patrick Beverly brought some defensive energy and that helped launch team fourth quarter, making a couple blocks on Alexey Shved, which became transition buckets for the Rockets.

These are two teams headed in opposite directions right now, and for a Minnesota team now 7 games out of the playoffs in the West it should lead to a little soul searching.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Hawks’ Paul Millsap may require offseason shoulder surgery

    May 26, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards-Game Three Getty Images

    Injury issues continue to pile up as Atlanta is on the verge of elimination.

  2. Storms in Houston forced Dwight Howard to remain at arena with fans until 2:30AM after Game 4 win over Warriors

    May 26, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Dwight Howard AP

    Severe flooding in the area had fans — and at least one player — stranded.

  3. Stephen Curry went through concussion protocol twice before returning to court

    May 26, 2015, 6:59 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpti2yjjimja4ywnhyza4zdnjzti5mja0nzy1mjqzm2e2 AP

    Curry reported no symptoms after the game or on Tuesday, which means expect the regular Curry back for Game 5 Wednesday night.

  4. Report: Kyle Korver to have surgery on his ankle

    May 26, 2015, 6:17 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards - Game Six Getty Images

    There is no timeline but this could impact training camp and the start of next season.

  5. Jason Terry says he will play next season, his 17th in NBA

    May 26, 2015, 5:45 PM EDT

    Jason Terry AP

    If he’s used in the aging shooter role on the court and veteran locker room presence off it, bringing him back for another season for a few million makes sense.

  6. PBT Extra: Will Dwight Howard’s foul on Bogut be upgraded to a Flagrant 2? Should it?

    May 26, 2015, 3:59 PM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Four Getty Images

    Would the league really upgrade a foul and bench a star player in an elimination game?

  7. PBT Extra: Horford/Dellavedova incident ups tension in Hawks/Cavaliers Game 4

    May 26, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT

    Not that it will be enough to get the Hawks a win.

  8. Report: Nets to shop Joe Johnson, Jarrett Jack in effort to get under luxury tax line

    May 26, 2015, 2:50 PM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

    The Nets just do not have good rebuilding options going forward.

  9. Zach LaVine alley-oop dunking a football. Because he can. (VIDEO)

    May 26, 2015, 2:05 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Minnesota Timberwolves Getty Images

    Minnesota’s Zach LaVine has spent the early part of his offseason working on increasing his vertical… wait, what?

  10. Nazr Mohammed plans to play another season

    May 26, 2015, 11:34 AM EDT

    Philadelphia 76ers V Chicago Bulls Getty Images

    Mohammed, 37, already one of NBA’s oldest players

Featured video

Will Klay Thompson get a little help on James Harden?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Irving (6410)
  2. S. Curry (6227)
  3. K. Love (5468)
  4. L. James (4521)
  5. D. Howard (4478)
  1. D. Carroll (4193)
  2. K. Korver (3825)
  3. K. Bryant (3540)
  4. K. Durant (3350)
  5. A. Horford (3323)