NBA Game Summary - Minnesota at Houston
(Wednesday, April 12th)
Final Score: Minnesota 82, Houston 79
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Mark Blount scored 16 points as Minnesota downed Houston, 82-79, at the Toyota Center.
Marcus Banks netted 15 points for the Timberwolves, who have won two of three. Justin Reed and Bracey Wright scored 13 points apiece.
Rafer Alston scored 17 points for the Rockets, who have dropped six of seven. Juwan Howard scored 15 points, while Stromile Swift had 13. Chuck Hayes added 10 rebounds.
"You play to win," Hayes said. "You play to win the game. Both teams [tonight] are in the same scenario. Both teams would have liked to have had better years. Both teams had their two leading scorers out. You play for pride and you play to win."
Despite trailing by eight heading into the final stanza, Minnesota closed the game on a 15-4 run ignited by a pair of Wright free throws with 8:32 remaining for the final margin.
Eddie Griffin blocked a lay-up attempt by Keith Bogans with about 35 seconds left to uphold a 78-77 Minnesota lead.
After the 'Wolves turned the ball over on a shot-clock violation, Alston missed an open jumper with about five seconds left and Trenton Hassell converted a pair of free throws to make the score 80-77 with 3.4 seconds on the clock.
Luther Head then made two free throws with 2.6 seconds left, despite trying to miss the second in an attempt to retain possession off a rebound, to bring the Rockets within one, 80-79.
Wright converted a pair of free throws with 1.9 seconds left, however, to seal the win.
The Rockets went on an 8-0 run to close the first quarter snapped by a turnaround jumper by Ronald Dupree with about 38 seconds left.
Houston outscored Minnesota by two points in the second stanza to lead 43-33 at halftime.
"You can't feel it," Alston said, "but you can see it, especially when you come out of the game. Some of the looks that they [Minnesota] were getting in the second half that they weren't getting in the first half, it has to do with intensity and I think, most of all, concentration."
Minnesota outscored Houston by two points in the third quarter to trail 69-61 heading into the final period.
The Rockets returned home after going 1-5 on a six-game road trip. Houston, which will host Memphis on Saturday, is 16-23 at the Toyota Center this season. The Rockets had a two-game home winning streak snapped.
The Timberwolves snapped a 14-game road losing streak, and played the middle contest of a three-game road trip. Minnesota is a dismal 9-31 on the road this season. The Timberwolves are scheduled to visit the Indiana Pacers on Friday at Conseco Fieldhouse.
The Timberwolves' most recent win on the road was on February 6th at Phoenix.
This was the fourth and final meeting of the campaign between the squads. In the three previous contests, the Rockets won a pair at the Target Center, while the Timberwolves defeated Houston, 96-92, on January 27th at the Toyota Center...Minnesota has won four straight after losing its last four at Houston.
04/13 01:38:51 ET