Brewer's 51, Dieng's late bucket boost T'Wolves over Rockets
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Corey Brewer poured in a franchise- record tying 51 points, but it was Gorgui Dieng's game-winning basket with 4.6 seconds left that lifted the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 112-110 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday.
Brewer's breakaway slam put Minnesota ahead 103-98 with 3:05 remaining, but Jeremy Lin nailed a 3-pointer and Chandler Parsons stole a Luc Mbah a Moute pass and jammed it to tie the game at 103-103 with 2:04 to go.
Brewer made a pair of free throws to cap his scoring outburst and Dieng knocked down a jumper for a four-point lead with 37.9 seconds left, but Harden cut the deficit to two with a layup 11.4 seconds later.
Ricky Rubio split a pair from the line for a 108-105 lead. On the other end, Parsons drove in from the wing for a dunk to make it a one-point game. Rubio's free throws stretched the Wolves lead to three points, but Harden buried a 3- pointer with 17.3 seconds remaining to tie the game.
Rubio took the inbounds pass and dribbled the clock down before driving to the hoop and kicking it to Dieng in the lane. The rookie mishandled the pass, but grabbed the loose ball and hit an off-balance jumper for the go-ahead basket.
The Rockets were unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer sounded.
Brewer was 19-of-30 from the field and tied Kevin Love's franchise mark for points in a game, which was set on March 23, 2012. Brewer's previous career high was 29.
"You know how many guys scored 50 in the NBA?" said Brewer."That's what makes it such a special night because I never in my career expected to score 50. There's a lot of good company up there."
Dieng finished with 12 points and 20 rebounds and Dante Cunningham scored 20 points and pulled down 13 boards for the Timberwolves, winners in four of their last six.
James Harden stuffed the stat sheet in defeat, pouring in a team-high 33 points to go with 10 assists, eight rebounds and six steals. Parsons added 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Lin scored 14 for the Rockets, who hold a one half-game lead over the Portland Trail Blazers for the fourth spot in the Western Conference.
Portland beat the Utah Jazz on Friday. Houston has three games remaining, while Portland has just two. The Rockets will host New Orleans on Saturday and San Antonio on Monday before closing the season in the Big Easy on Wednesday.
"We have no choice now," Harden said. "Three games to go, we're trying to lock in home-court advantage and we just keep letting games slip away."
Brewer scored 16 in the first quarter on 7-of-8 shooting to help Minnesota take a 39-32 lead after 12 minutes. Houston shot 55 percent in the second to carry a 63-59 lead into the break.
Brewer scored 10 in the third to get the Wolves within, 84-82, entering the final frame.
Brewer also had six steals ... Brewer set career highs in field goals made and attempted and free throws made and attempted ... Minnesota scored 28 points off 22 Houston turnovers ... Harden went 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
04/12 00:24:03 ET