Rockets continue to torment Timberwolves
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - The trio of Kevin Martin, Aaron Brooks and Luis Scola combined for 80 points, and the Houston Rockets continued their dominance of the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 112-98 victory.
Martin led the way with 30, while Brooks and Scola each had 25 for the Rockets, who have beaten the T'Wolves 11 straight times dating back to 2007. Scola also hauled in a career-best 21 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end, and Brooks had nine assists.
Shane Battier contributed with 11 points and seven assists for Houston, which improved to just 3-5 since the blockbuster trade that brought Martin to the team from Sacramento.
Kevin Love paced the Minnesota attack with 20 points and 11 boards, but the Timberwolves lost their fifth straight, as Al Jefferson served the second of his two-game suspension for a suspected DWI. Ryan Gomes added 17 points, while Ryan Hollins had 15. Ramon Sessions and Jonny Flynn each had 14 in defeat.
Houston started off hot, as Scola had seven points in the first five minutes. His jumper with seven minutes left had the Rockets up by a 17-8 margin, and the visitors took a 33-22 lead into the second quarter.
"There was nothing we could do (about Scola)," Flynn said. "He was just tenacious on the glass -- I don't know how many offensive rebounds he had. He was always there getting loose balls and keeping balls alive, helping his team. He's just a great talent."
The Rockets quickly expanded their lead to 16 early in the following frame and took a 60-50 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Early in the third, Brooks hit a pair of threes, and Martin added another for a 69-54 cushion. Minnesota was able to cut its deficit to as low as seven a couple times, but Houston scored the final nine points of the quarter, and a Martin layup in the final seconds gave the Rockets a comfortable 89-73 lead.
Houston led by double-digits throughout the fourth until a late 6-0 run by Minnesota pulled the hosts to within 99-92 on a Flynn basket with 2:45 left.
"The guys played hard, and we almost let them back in the game," Battier said. "But we made some plays in the fourth quarter. It was a much-needed road victory."
The Wolves could not get any closer, however, as Scola answered with a jumper and Martin a three moments later for a 12-point lead with two minutes to go.
The Rockets began a three-game road trip that will also take them to Detroit and Washington...Trevor Ariza (hip) missed his sixth straight game, while Kyle Lowry (ankle) sat out his 11th consecutive contest...Brewer had 12 points for Minnesota.
03/06 23:22:18 ET