NBA Game Summary - Minnesota at Houston
(Thursday, November 11th)
Final Score: Minnesota 96, Houston 91
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Kevin Garnett registered 20 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves past the Houston Rockets, 96-91, at the Toyota Center.
Sam Cassell contributed 18 points for Minnesota, which bounced back from a one-point loss to Indiana on Tuesday. Wally Szczerbiak chipped in 13 points in the victory.
Yao Ming posted a game-high 25 points for the Rockets, who played without star guard Tracy McGrady. The two-time league scoring champion sat out with a pair of injuries to his hip and groin. It is unclear when McGrady will return to action and he is considered day-to-day.
"We knew without Tracy McGrady that Yao would get twice as many touches," said Minnesota head coach Flip Saunders. "He played well."
Maurice Taylor scored 19 points for Houston, which saw a three-game winning streak halted. Jim Jackson added 13 points with seven assists, but his defensive miscue at the end of the game proved costly.
The score was tight with under three minutes to go in regulation. Cassell nailed a jumper from the top of the key with 2:30 left to give Minnesota a 90-87 lead.
After Garnett blocked a shot, he connected on a fadeaway on the other end with 1:41 to go.
Yao answered with two free throws to bring Houston within 92-89 and following a travelling violation on Garnett, Yao struck again from the base line with just under a minute to play.
Cassell let the shot clock run down and missed a long field goal, but Minnesota got the rebound along with a fresh shot clock. The clutch Garnett then nailed a bucket from above the foul line with eight seconds left for a 94-91 edge.
The final chance for Houston was squandered when, before the ball was tossed into play, an offensive foul was called on Jackson for picking a cutting Minnesota player in the lane.
"I thought it was a terrible call, nothing more, nothing less," said Jackson. "That didn't lose us the game, but it didn't give us a chance to shoot either."
The ball went back to the Timberwolves and two free throws created the final margin.
Minnesota led 36-25 after the first quarter, but allowed the Rockets back in it during the second. The Rockets used a 22-16 advantage to come within 52-47 at the break.
Houston then won the third quarter, outscoring the visitors 21-19, and trailed by three as the fourth quarter commenced.
Houston fell to 2-1 at home this season...McGrady left during the third quarter of the Rockets' victory over the Grizzlies on Tuesday...Last season, the Rockets and Timberwolves split four contests...Minnesota holds a franchise record of 10-24 overall at Houston...The T-wolves captured the battle on the glass, 41-33...Latrell Sprewell was held to just nine points in 35 minutes for Minnesota, which shot 46 percent from the floor compared to 44 percent for the Rockets...The attendance was 15,566.
11/12 01:12:59 ET