He'll have to be an absolute monster inside if the T-Wolves want any chance of winning some games in this series.
Game 1 is set for 8 p.m. Sunday in Houston and can be heard on WCCO Radio 830 AM. The four-time All-Star is healthy and ready to go and will be an offensive factor for Minnesota after averaging 22.2 points per game this season. Houston, the deadliest 3-point shooting team in the game, went just 10 for 37 from deep.
That all added up to the Wolves holding a one-point advantage with just more than six minutes to play. Game 1 in Boston was an overtime thriller, with the Celtics squeaking out a win over the Bucks. Tucker made a 3 for the Rockets after that, but Minnesota used a 6-1 spurt, with 3s from Wiggins and Teague, to go back on top 62-58.
Harden finished with 44 points and eight assists, carrying the Rockets to a 1-0 series lead. The next possession, he fed Clint Capela with an easy alley oop, an explanation mark on the Rockets' big run.
While Harden was on fire, the rest of the Rockets struggled from the three-point line. Houston, even with Gordon, Capela and Anderson questionable along with Mbah a Moute out until early May have a terrific second unit.
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In the last regular season meeting between the two teams in March, Gerald Green was ejected in the fourth quarter for coming to Chris Paul's defense after Minnesota's Gorgui Dieng pushed Paul down after a foul.
Karl-Anthony Towns averaged 21.3 points per contest this season while collecting an average of 12.3 boards per game.
The Wolves are hung tough, and had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but the Rockets escaped with a three-point win. While it's fair to say that the Rockets had most teams' numbers this season, the fact remains that it's hard to argue with a sweep.
Rose, who scored 16 points, looked like Minnesota's best player for much of the night. Also, combine the Timberwolves road scoring with the Rockets home scoring and you get 222 points per game. While his contributions are welcomed by the Wolves, they're not enough.
Anderson sprained his ankle on April 3 and it sidelined him for the final four games of the regular season.