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Timberwolves send Rockets to seventh straight loss
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Andrei Kirilenko led six Minnesota players in double figures with 21 points as the Timberwolves downed the Houston Rockets, 92-79, at Target Center on Saturday.
Luke Ridnour added 16 points and Chris Johnson had 15 for the Timberwolves, who snapped a five-game skid. Johnson had 13 of his points in the final quarter.
"At times I really didn't know what to do offensively," Johnson admitted. "I had to get more familiar with the offense. They just put me in the right spots to be successful tonight and just made good plays."
Derrick Williams, J.J. Barea and Mickael Gelabale finished with 11 points apiece in the triumph.
James Harden had 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Carlos Delfino added 15 points for the Rockets, losers of seven straight games.
"I'm not playing to the best of my ability," Harden said of Houston's losing skid. "I'm not making shots, not making plays and I think we're just kind of in a fog right now and we've got to find some way to get out of this fog."
Jeremy Lin and Greg Smith added 12 points apiece in the setback.
Minnesota led 21-16 after the first quarter and took a 44-38 lead into the break after leading by as many as 11 in the second quarter.
Houston, though, outscored Minnesota 21-19 in the third to go into the final period trailing 65-59. The Rockets scored the final seven points of the period.
Johnson personally outscored the Rockets, 6-3, over the first three minutes of the fourth to give the Wolves a 71-62 lead. Houston was within 84-77 with 3:06 left following Harden's jumper.
Johnson countered with a dunk to start an 8-0 run that sealed the outcome.
Minnesota outscored Houston, 40-28, in the paint ... The Wolves shot 46.9 percent (30-for-64) from the field while holding the Rockets to 32.1 percent (25-for-78) efficiency ... Kirilenko also had 11 rebounds and three steals ... Harden and Lin went a combined 8-for-30 from the floor.
01/20 01:58:34 ET