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NBA Game Summary - Houston at Minnesota

(Saturday, December 20th)

Final Score: Houston 109, Minnesota 102

Minnesota, MN (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady scored 23 points to pace Houston to a 109-102 win over the Timberwolves, dealing Minnesota its 12th consecutive defeat.

Aaron Brooks added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who won their third straight, equaling a season-best. Ron Artest scored 19 and Yao Ming added 18 for Houston. Luther Head tallied 16 points in a reserve role.

"You have to stick with what got you the lead and we got away from that," said Houston's Shane Battier. "We started to play lax on defense, taking poor shots."

Al Jefferson had 34 points and 13 rebounds to lead Minnesota, which hasn't won since November 28 at Oklahoma City. The Timberwolves are 0-7 since Kevin McHale took over as the team's head coach. The loss also dropped the Timberwolves to 2-11 at the Target Center, where they've lost eight in a row. Randy Foye had 24 points in defeat.

"We are trying to get better and I think it showed tonight," said Foye. "We have to keep pushing."

Minnesota was behind by 11 headed to the fourth quarter, and although the Timberwolves never went ahead they did threaten in the final minute. Foye's three-pointer had the margin at 105-102, but Yao came back with a short jumper with 22.3 seconds left. Battier nailed a pair from the charity stripe to ice the win.

Houston scored the game's first seven points, but Minnesota bounced back later in the quarter and held a 32-30 edge going to the second.

The Rockets used a 12-1 run early in the second to take a 44-35 advantage. Head started the run with five straight points and a Chuck Hayes jumper capped the flurry. Houston carried a 60-51 lead into the half and continued to hold the Timberwolves at bay by an 82-71 count going to the fourth.

Game Notes

Hayes had 10 rebounds..Rashad McCants had 16 points and Craig Smith scored 14 for the Timberwolves...Battier scored 10 for the Rockets, who shot 52.7 percent from the field....Houston has won the last five meetings.

12/20 23:03:55 ET

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