Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets: Odds, injuries, what to watch for

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns defends Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns defends Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Minnesota Timberwolves will look to extend their winning streak to four games as they take on the cellar-dwelling Houston Rockets on the road Sunday night.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets: Odds, injuries, what to watch for

The Timberwolves has won three consecutive games, including a resounding, 30-point victory on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.

The Wolves are finally at mostly full strength, although Patrick Beverley missed Friday night’s game and is listed as questionable on Sunday due to a groin injury. They’re rolling, and they are also smack-dab in the middle of the easiest stretch on their schedule.

The Houston Rockets have had the worst record in the Western Conference virtually all season and currently sit at 11-29 and have lost nine of their last 10 games. They did win on the road two games ago, defeating the Washington Wizards on a buzzer-beater from Kevin Porter Jr.

Minnesota Timberwolves odds at Houston Rockets

The Wolves are favored by seven points over the Rockets, according to our friends at WynnBet. The line seems about right, given the streak that each team is on and the Wolves’ relative health compared to the Rockets.

TV and streaming info for Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets

What to watch for in Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets

The Timberwolves and Rockets have not seen one another since opening night, which ended in a 124-106 Wolves victory. The two teams won’t see each other again until April 3.

A lot has changed since then, of course. The Wolves were still starting Josh Okogie and Jaden McDaniels, although if Beverley sits out once again then McDaniels will likely start and Okogie may have a spot in the rotation.

Anthony Edwards had a strong opener, dropping 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting including 6-of-12 on 3-point attempts. Karl-Anthony Towns was phenomenal, putting up 29 points on an efficient 11-of-15 from the floor, pitching in 10 rebounds and two steals, two assists, and two blocks.

The Wolves led by 11 at the end of the first quarter and effectively put the game away with a 40-point second quarter, expanding their lead to 27 by halftime.

Houston struggled to score against a suddenly impactful Wolves defense — but it’s a defense that has remained fantastic all season long. The Wolves are up to No. 7 in defensive rating coming into play on Sunday, while the Rockets’ offense is just No. 26 in efficiency.

Predictably, Christian Wood has been the lone constant for the Rockets this season. He had 16 points and nine rebounds in the opener and is averaging 17 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this season and, along with Eric Gordon, shoulders much of the offensive load for Houston. Rookie Jalen Green is dynamic and averages the second-most points per game on the team but has struggled with efficiency.

The defense is even worse, ranking No. 29 in the league. They’re also bottom-five in defensive rebounding rate and are nearly as foul-prone as the Wolves.

Perhaps the most significant metric heading into the game is that the Rockets turn the ball over on 15.1 percent of their offensive possessions, which is the league’s worst mark. The Wolves, on the other hand, turn their opponents over on 15 percent of possessions, which is the best in the league.

If the Wolves can take care of the ball themselves and can control the boards, this should be a relatively easy victory for the road team.

Injury report for Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets

The Wolves have listed Beverley as questionable due to the groin injury. Leandro Bolmaro remains out in health and safety protocols.

The Rockets will be without at least one rotation player as Alperen Sengun is out with an ankle injury. Garrison Mathews is listed as questionable due to an ankle injury.

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We’ll be back after the game with player grades and a few key takeaways. Enjoy the game, and here’s to getting back to a .500 record at 20-20!