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Rockets beat T-Wolves 104-101 in playoff series opener

16 April 2018, 01:47 | Anna Jefferson

Timberwolves Feel Ready For First Postseason Appearance In 14 Years

James Harden worries about getting food stuck in his beard on dates so he prefers to only eat in front of those he’s comfortable around

When the Timberwolves took an 86-85 lead with 6:49 left in the fourth, Harden scored 11-straight points with a series of dizzying step-back threes that the Timberwolves could do nothing to stop.

Every time the Rockets pulled away, the Timberwolves found a way back into the game, getting to within three points in crunch time.

Karl-Anthony Towns averaged 21.3 points per contest this season while collecting an average of 12.3 boards per game.

They didn't get it. Minnesota, a heavy first-round underdog, failed to take advantage of an off-night from the best team in basketball, falling 104-101 to dig an 0-1 hole in the franchise's first playoff game since 2004.

While Minnesota possesses more talent than the average 8-seed, beating the Rockets four times in seven games is almost impossible, especially when considering they lost only three games with James Harden, Clint Capela and Paul in the lineup during the regular season.




The Timberwolves beat the Denver Nuggets in the final regular season game for both teams last week to lock up the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. Jeff Teague added 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. 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.

Minnesota won their final three games of the season to make the playoffs, capped by the victor moves on, loser goes home contest with the Nuggets. The Houston Rockets are averaging 112.4 points on 46 percent shooting and allowing 103.9 points on 46.2 percent shooting. He got off to a great start, and it continued all game long, as he finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds. 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. Last season, the Wolves would have been tied for the sixth spot with 47 wins. Eric Gordon (ankle) is probable.

Apart from being at their best offensively, they will have to devise a plan to hold down Harden, who is key for the Rockets' offense.

So how did Houston do against the T-wolves this season?



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