Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from loss to Rockets

HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 17: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 17: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves fell to the Houston Rockets on Sunday night, dropping their third consecutive game and eighth-straight road contest.

169. Final. 102. 86. 117

With Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose each remaining out due to injury, the Minnesota Timberwolves were once again shorthanded as they dropped their third-straight game and eighth consecutive overall on the road.

Karl-Anthony Towns was great, but despite putting up 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, he shot just 8-of-22 from the floor and missed a few shots around the rim. The Rockets’ plan to double-team Towns and force him to pass the ball didn’t work in the first half, as the Wolves supporting cast was able to help Towns by cutting at the proper times and getting open for jumpers.

But in the second half, the Rockets got hot behind the 3-point arc, and as it turns out, three points is more than two. Houston built a quick double-digit lead after leading by only one at halftime and the Wolves didn’t get within 12 points the rest of the way.

The Wolves actually played solid defense when set in the half court, as Josh Okogie once again did a great job guarding James Harden and the Wolves’ frontcourt held their own against Clint Capela and P.J. Tucker. But the transition defense was horrible, and the Rockets drained open 3-pointers seemingly every time down the court as they put the game away.

Towns was easily the best player on the court for the Wolves once again, putting up 22 points (8-22 FG, 2-5 3P, 4-5 FT), 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocks. His passing out of the post was impressive, and outside of a handful of unlucky missed shots, it was another solid game — just not quite as dominant as fans have been used to over the last few weeks.. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS. B+

<a href=. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. ANDREW WIGGINS. C+

Minnesota Timberwolves. TYUS JONES. C. <a rel=. Point Guard

Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. DARIO SARIC. B-. Wolves fans have grown accustomed to <a rel=

JOSH OKOGIE. B+. Josh Okogie had his best game since the last time the Wolves played the Rockets, which was back before the All-Star break. The Wolves rookie was second on the team in scoring with 21 points (8-14 FG, 3-7 3P, 2-4 FT), and he also had five rebounds, three assists, and one steal. He once again played great defense on Harden and other than a few missed shots in a row in the first half, Okogie had a solid game overall.. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves

A. <a href=. Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. TAJ GIBSON

C-. <a href=. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. ANTHONY TOLLIVER

B. <a rel=. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. KEITA BATES-DIOP

The rest of the players

Jerryd Bayless was the backup point guard again and had six points, three rebounds, and two assists in one of his better performances in recent weeks.

Cameron Reynolds played 15 minutes and went scoreless, missing both shot attempts. He did finish with a plus-minus of +9.

Gorgui Dieng played four minutes of garbage time and crushed it, knocking down an impressive 3-pointer, picking the pocket of Iman Shumpert in the open floor, and converting an old-fashioned 3-point play. Also appearing in garbage time was Jared Terrell, the undrafted rookie guard on a two-way contract.

Next. Remaining silver linings to Wolves' season.... dark

What’s Next?

The Timberwolves take on the Golden State Warriors at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night at Target Center.