NBA Game Summary - Houston at Minnesota
(Tuesday, March 7th)
Final Score: Houston 93, Minnesota 87
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Yao Ming had 30 points and 13 rebounds, as the Houston Rockets, minus Tracy McGrady, earned a come-from-behind victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 93-87, at the Target Center.
Rafer Alston had 17 points and five assists and Stromile Swift added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who have won their last three games.
McGrady sat out the contest with a back problem, an injury he aggravated during the third quarter of Sunday's win over Portland.
Kevin Garnett had 15 points and 21 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had a two-game winning streak stopped. Marcus Banks had 26 points and five assists and Mark Blount added 18 points and six rebounds before fouling out for Minnesota.
The Rockets were trailing by six points, 67-61, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the team scored the first 12 points of the stanza and had a 73-67 lead after Swift drained a jumper with 6:15 to play. Swift had six points during the run.
Ricky Davis hit a free throw, to make it 73-68, with six minutes left to stop the bleeding, but it did nothing to spark the Timberwolves, for that was as close as the team got.
"It was terrible," said Davis. "We game the game away tonight. I think everybody ought to take initiative and take it upon themselves to not lose leads. When we get out we gotta stay on them."
Luther Head had eight points down the stretch and David Wesley hit four straight free throws towards the end to keep the Rockets out front and give them the victory.
"This was probably one of our best finishes," said Wesley. "We were just playing basketball and getting the job done."
It was tight throughout much of the first quarter. The Timberwolves had a 15-14 lead and closed out the quarter with a 10-2 run and they took a 25-16 edge into the second.
The Rockets, though, closed the gap in the second quarter. They started out the stanza with a 14-6 burst and closed to within one, 31-30, when Yao slammed the ball home with under six minutes left.
Minnesota scored the next seven points and had a 38-30 lead with a bit over two minutes left. Houston closed out the scoring in the half with back-to-back three pointers by Keith Bogans and Alston and trailed 38-36 going into the locker room.
Houston briefly took the lead in the third quarter when Yao's driving layup gave his team a 43-42 lead with 9:36 left in the stanza.
Minnesota got three straight baskets to take the lead back and were ahead 67-61 going into the final quarter.
Houston returns home for a game against Indiana on Wednesday...The Timberwolves start a six-game road trip at Utah on Wednesday...The road team has won three straight and seven of the last eight in this series...Wesley finished with nine points, eight rebounds and six assists...Davis finished with 14 points and five rebounds...Houston shot 39.7 percent and dominated on the boards, 54-43...Minnesota shot 39.1 percent...Garnett's rebounds equaled a season-best.
03/08 00:30:51 ET