The Wolves perimeter defense needs to step up. That is the major takeaway from this game, and the main reason why the Wolves record has dropped to 8-7.
Kevin Love had 27 points, and 15 rebounds in another terrific scoring effort. Corey Brewer had 22 points, and kept his hands active in the passing lane with 5 steals. Kevin Martin scored 19 points on 7-19 shooting from the field and 3-6 shooting from behind the arc. Ricky Rubio stuffed the stat sheet with 7 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals. However, the Timberwolves’ bench could only muster 12 points as a unit, with Alexey Shved being the leading scorer with 7 points off the bench. The Wolves could simply not rely on their reserves when the starters needed a break. This has been an ongoing problem for the Wolves throughout this season.
Aaron Brooks was dynamite for the Rockets off the bench. With James Harden out due to a sore left foot, Brooks put the scoring load on his shoulders, registering 26 points on 6-7 shooting from downtown. To complement his scoring effort, Brooks had 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals. Jeremy Lin who started in Harden’s place had 19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Terrence Jones who is becoming an emerging star in the league, had 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Dwight Howard, who had a relatively quiet scoring night, had a solid all around game. D12 had 11 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks.
The primary reason the Wolves lost was Houston’s hot hand from behind the arc. As a team, Houston shot 50% from behind the arc. Aaron Brooks (6-7) and Patrick Beverley (5-8) both had huge games and this is what killed the Wolves.
Houston Inactives: James Harden (Foot), Greg Smith (Knee), Ronnie Brewer (Calf)
Minnesota Inactives: Shabazz Muhammad (Coach’s Decision), Chase Budinger (Knee), Ronny Turiaf (Elbow)
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