Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/26/12
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Houston Rockets proved this month that they can win games with loads of points and an up-and-down pace. On Wednesday night, Houston proved it can win a half-court game as well. James Harden made sure of that. Harden scored 17 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter as the Rockets rallied for an 87-84 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Minnesota led 76-70 midway through the fourth quarter, but Harden took over from there. Harden, who was acquired from Oklahoma City just prior to the regular season 15 of Houston's final 17 points against the Timberwolves. His drive to the basket with 37 seconds to play put the Rockets ahead for good, 85-84. After Houston's Carlos Delfino stripped Minnesota's J.J. Barea, Harden again drove to the basket, scored and stretched the lead to four. The victory was Houston's fifth in a row and sixth in seven games. It also allowed the Rockets to win both halves of a road/road back-to-back after winning at Chicago on Christmas. Houston, which won only four of its first 11 games this season, is now five games over .500 for the first time this season. The loss was Minnesota's fourth in the past five games and it drops the Timberwolves back to .500 on the season. Chandler Parsons added 12 points for the Rockets while Delfino finished with 11. Omer Asik scored nine points for Houston, but grabbed 17 rebounds. Barea came off of the bench to lead the Timberwolves with 18 points while Alexey Shved scored 16 points. Kevin Love, Minnesota's All-Star forward, struggled, going 3-for-14 from the floor while missing all seven of his 3-point attempts. Houston entered the game with the league's highest scoring offense and the Rockets had averaged 122 points per game in their past three games. Minnesota played much of the game without center Nikola Pekovic, who became ill during the game and went to the locker room in the second quarter. He returned to action late in the third quarter. After the two teams traded runs in the third quarter -- Minnesota had a 13-2 spurt before Houston answered with a 15-2 run -- the Timberwolves led 64-61 entering the fourth quarter. Minnesota led by as many as six in the fourth quarter before Harden went on his tear. Minnesota led 47-44 at halftime after closing the second quarter on a 12-4 run. The Timberwolves led largely because they defended and controlled the tempo in the first half. Houston entered the game with the league's highest scoring offense and the Rockets had averaged 122 points per game in their past three games. The Timberwolves, who got 23 bench points in the first half, did a good job taking care of the ball and, as a result, limited Houston's ability to score in transition. NOTES: Parsons played against Minnesota, one night after colliding with Chicago's Marco Belinelli and having his right knee swell up. Parsons' status was uncertain until he tested his knee before the game, but he was in Houston's starting lineup. ... Before the game, Minnesota got good news about two of its injured players. Love returned to the lineup after missing Sunday's loss at the Knicks because of an eye injury. In addition, guard Ricky Rubio was cleared to have his playing time increase. After being limited to 18 minutes per game in his first five games back from ACL surgery, Rubio was cleared to play more than 20 minutes against the Rockets. ... Wednesday's game was Houston's first at Minnesota since drafting Minneapolis native Royce White with the 16th pick in the 2012 draft. White is dealing with anxiety issues. He has not played this season and has not been with the team since early November. Houston coach Kevin McHale isn't sure when he might return. "He hasn't been around, I haven't seen him," McHale said. "As crazy as it sounds, you're just kind of going with the guys who are there."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl

Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50


Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Mike Carey not heard from again after being wrong earlier

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

WATCH: Panthers' Jonathan Stewart leaps over pile for TD

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 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

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker