The Wolves scored the first nine points of the second half to take a 56-54 lead.
Butler missed time during the regular season due to a knee injury, so if there's something wrong with his wrist, that would appear to be a new issue. The Houston Rockets have lost just two home games since Christmas.
At long last, the NBA Playoffs are set. Before he did, he asked Towns to promise that he'd lead the Timberwolves back to the playoffs. That means the Wolves grabbed that percentage of all available defensive rebounds. By relying on Towns, who paced the team in points (1,743), rebounds (1,012), blocks (115) and 3-pointers (120), plus Butler in the post, Minnesota might unlock a pace that could prevent Houston from its usually lethal combo of layups and open 3s. Derrick Rose's minutes likely have to increase and Jamal Crawford will have to defend. Minnesota must play tight defense and hope that the Rockets go cold from the three-point line, while they need to shoot well from 3-point range themselves. At one point the Wolves even held a top 4 seed around All-Star break.
"We expect nothing but greatness from ourselves", Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns said. Houston trailed by eight at the half and by 16 after three quarters to put the game away. The Rockets are just 13-8 without him (52-9 with him). The Houston Rockets are averaging 112.4 points on 46 percent shooting and allowing 103.9 points on 46.2 percent shooting. Towns had 12 rebounds and two assists.
With Luc Richard Mbah a Moute sidelined with a dislocated shoulder, Green moved up the frontcourt pecking order and showed what he can do in extended minutes if needed by scoring a season-high 31 in Houston's season finale versus Sacramento.. Saunders passed two days before the start of the National Basketball Association season, before he had a chance to see the number one overall pick who'd become part of his family play a game in Minnesota.
The Timberwolves will have to circle the wagons against an opponent that blitzed them four times during the regular season.
If you think the Timberwolves are going to get swept by the Houston Rockets, think again.
The Rockets begin their quest to unseat the Warriors with a first-round matchup that they should breeze through.
We'll be seeing the likes of Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague go up against James Harden, Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza and P.J. There's not a lot of reliable depth for Minnesota. Harden made another shot to give him 11 straight points for Houston before another basket by Teague. Can Minnesota find secondary scoring and slow Houston's perimeter barrage?