December 4, 2018 / 3:58 AM / 3 months ago

3rd-quarter explosion lifts Timberwolves over Rockets

Karl-Anthony Towns recorded 24 points, 11 rebounds and three steals to help the Minnesota Timberwolves recover from a 19-point, first-half deficit to post a 103-91 victory over the visiting Houston Rockets on Monday night.

Andrew Wiggins scored 16 points for Minnesota, which won for the fifth time in the past six games. Taj Gibson added 15 points and 11 rebounds, Jeff Teague had 14 points and seven assists, Robert Covington scored 13 points and Dario Saric added 12 off the bench.

James Harden had 29 points and eight assists for Houston, which tallied just nine fourth-quarter points while falling for the fifth time in its past seven games.

Clint Capela scored 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting and also collected eight rebounds and three steals, and Eric Gordon scored 10 points for the Rockets.

Chris Paul had just five points on 1-of-8 shooting for Houston, which shot 43.2 percent and 11 of 39 from 3-point range. The Rockets committed 20 turnovers.

Minnesota made 11 of 22 from 3-point range and shot 43.9 percent overall.

The Timberwolves led 86-82 after three quarters and opened the fourth with eight straight points. Saric converted a three-point play, Tyus Jones stole the ball from Harden and cruised for a layup and Covington knocked down a 3-pointer to make it a 12-point margin with 7:27 left.

Houston missed its first six shots of the quarter until Harden connected on an 11-footer with 6:43 remaining.

The Rockets finally cut the deficit to single digits when Paul nailed a 3-pointer to cut Minnesota’s lead to 98-89 with 3:23 left. But Gibson and Teague each made two free throws to push the lead to 13 to help the Timberwolves close it out.

Minnesota trailed 62-48 at halftime before making seven 3-pointers during a 38-point third quarter to take a four-point lead.

Teague capped a 15-3 burst with back-to-back 3-pointers as the Timberwolves caught the Rockets at 76 with 3:41 remaining.

Towns and Saric hit back-to-back 3-pointers a short time later to give Minnesota a five-point lead before settling for the four-point edge entering the final stanza.

Harden poured in 22 points in the first half.

—Field Level Media

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