Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 12/26/12
While the Minnesota Timberwolves have struggled of late, getting back home could be just what they need to regroup. Kevin Love's return would surely help, too. Seeking a sixth consecutive home win for the first time in nine seasons, the Timberwolves try to slow down the surging Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. Minnesota (13-12) enters this game having dropped three of four -- including Sunday's 94-91 loss at New York. Nikola Pekovic had 21 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who shot 7 of 23 in the fourth quarter and couldn't hold on to a late lead. "We battled. We had a great game, it just didn't go our way there in the last couple of minutes," J.J. Barea said. "We just couldn't get a break there at the end and I think it hurt us." Minnesota has to like its chances of regrouping at the Target Center, where it's strung together five straight wins while averaging 101.4 points -- 5.9 more than its season mark. The Timberwolves haven't captured six in a row on their own court since a 14-game run in 2003-04. Minnesota also has plenty to be excited about with Love expected back. The All-Star forward, who didn't make the trip to New York after getting poked in the eye late in Thursday's 99-93 home win over Oklahoma City, is averaging 19.6 points and 13.9 rebounds -- the NBA's second-highest mark among those who've played at least 10 games. Love has averaged 28.3 points and 14.0 boards in his last six matchups against Houston (15-12), which had won 15 of 16 in this series before losing the last three. Love and Pekovic combined for 63 points and 29 rebounds while Ricky Rubio scored 18 to go along with nine assists in a 111-98 road win Feb. 17. Another victory, though, may not be as easy to come by if the Rockets' recent efforts are any indication. Houston has won six of seven -- including a season-best four straight by an average of 20.8 points. The Rockets, leading the league with 106.0 points per game, have averaged 118.8 during their run. Houston's offensive prowess was on full display Tuesday in a 120-97 rout at Chicago. James Harden, Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons scored a combined 89 points for the Rockets, who held a 66-32 edge in the paint and outscored the Bulls 31-8 in transition. Lin matched a season high with 11 assists while Asik grabbed 18 boards. "We are a very young team, but are continuing to learn and believe in our system," coach Kevin McHale said. The Rockets are 0-5 on the road when scoring less than 100 points but 4-2 when they reach that mark. Houston is 2-4 on the back end of back-to-backs. In addition to trying to contain Love, the Rockets may need to be wary of Rubio. The second-year point guard has averaged just 3.3 points off the bench in four games since returning from a torn ACL but could start to see more minutes going forward. He's gone 3 for 16 (18.8 percent) from the field. "We knew that it would be something that would take a while, so it's taking a while," president David Kahn told the team's official website. "But we expected that, and we're sure that it will work out in the end."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Carmelo Anthony says he's putting his trust in Phil Jackson

Lynn Swann: Calvin Johnson not a Hall of Famer

NFL requiring background checks for combine participants

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded


WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl

Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

Oscillation, thy name is Pablo Sandoval

Mat Latos could be the steal of free agency

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker