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
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
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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
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.
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