Thursday, November 13, 2014
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Rockets dominate Timberwolves in Mexico City

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[November 13, 2014]  The Houston Rockets used a balanced attack and delivered a decisive victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in front of 18,996 fans at Arena Ciudad de Mexico for the first regular-season game played south of the border since 1997.

Five Rockets' players scored in double figures in the 113-101 win over the Timberwolves, with forward James Harden scoring 23 to lead all scorers while adding 10 assists for his third double-double this season and center Dwight Howard added 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way.

The Rockets scored 60 points in the second half, improving to 7-1 for the first time since 1996-97.

Houston led by four at the half, but took advantage of a slow start by Minnesota in the third quarter. The Timberwolves missed their first seven shots after the break, allowing the Rockets to establish a double-digit lead they would not relinquish.

After trailing by 10, the Timberwolves got as close as four with 4:35 remaining in the third thanks to a team-high 13 points from guard Andrew Wiggins. But a lazy foul by Wiggins 25 feet from the basket was his fourth of the game, forcing the rookie to the bench and when he sat, Houston pulled away with a 19-6 run.

The Rockets went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc in the third quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers from reserve guard Jason Terry, who finished with nine points. Forward Kostas Papanikolaou connected on all four of his 3-point attempts to lead all Houston reserves with 14 points.

Houston connected on a pair of threes early in the fourth, building a 21-point lead at one point.

A 10-3 run by gave Houston a 21-17 lead late in the first quarter and a 28-26 advantage after 12 minutes. The Rockets pushed their advantage to as high as six midway through the second, but every time they looked poised to pull away, their transition defense let them down.

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Harden led all players with 14 points at the half, including nine points in the second quarter alone, as Houston led 53-49.

Brewer led Minnesota with 18 points on 7-of-7 shooting. Center Nikola Pekovic had 11 points and 13 rebounds while Wiggins finished with 15.

NOTES: The Rockets have now made at least 10 three-pointers in all eight of their games to start the season, setting a new NBA record. ... Rockets F Terrence Jones (leg) was inactive and G Patrick Beverly (hamstring) did not accompany the team to Mexico City. Both are considered day-to-day. ... Rockets G James Harden and G Jason Terry were late to the arena after the team's second bus got stuck in traffic. Harden and Terry arrived at Mexico City Arena less than an hour before the opening tip. ... Timberwolves F Anthony Bennett was available Wednesday after missing the previous two games with a swollen knee. ... Timberwolves G Ricky Rubio (sprained ankle) and F Glenn Robinson III were inactive.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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