Timberwolves-Rockets Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 14, 2013
The Houston Rockets didn't have too many problems in the opener to their longest homestand of the season. The injury-plagued and last-place Minnesota Timberwolves are set to visit next, though they've dominated the recent series between the clubs. The Rockets try to avoid a fifth loss in six matchups and fourth in a row at home to the Timberwolves on Friday night. Houston (35-30) followed up a 1-2 road trip with a 111-81 rout of Phoenix on Wednesday. Rookie forward Donatas Motiejunas scored a career-high 19 points to lead six Rockets in double figures and the team's 10 3-pointers gave them double digits in all six games this month. "We were moving the ball, sharing the ball," point guard Jeremy Lin said. "You could look across (the statistics) and see we had great distribution among the scoring. That's usually a great sign of transition buckets, as well as sharing the ball offensively." The win helped the Rockets, seventh in the Western Conference, move two games ahead of ninth-place Utah. Houston will try to pad that advantage during a seven-game stretch at home, where it's won seven of eight. The Rockets' next opponent has dropped 14 of 15 on the road and is 6-25 there overall. Minnesota, however, has looked anything like a bad team in its recent matchups with Houston. The Timberwolves recorded a 92-79 home victory over the Rockets on Jan. 19 despite the absence of seven players due to injury and illness. Minnesota's leader with 21 points in that game, Andrei Kirilenko, is dealing with a strained calf it's uncertain whether he'll play Friday. The status of center Nikola Pekovic is also unclear while star forward Kevin Love and former Rockets swingman Chase Budinger are also expected to continue lengthy absences. Pekovic had 30 points and 12 rebounds in the teams' last meeting in Houston, a 111-98 Wolves victory Feb. 17, 2012. Minnesota has averaged 114.3 points in its three consecutive victories at Houston. After a stunning 107-83 blowout of Western Conference-leading San Antonio on Tuesday, Minnesota couldn't follow with another victory the next day, falling 107-91 at Indiana. Ricky Rubio scored 21 points for the second straight game, matching a season high, and had 10 assists. "We played hard. We just didn't have enough. We ran out of gas in the second half, but they competed," coach Rick Adelman said. Houston's James Harden made two baskets in the final 40 seconds and had 17 of his team-best 30 points in the fourth quarter of an 87-84 road victory over Minnesota on Dec. 26. Harden made 11 of 22 shots in that game, but missed 13 of 18 and scored 18 points in the January matchup.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker