NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, February 4th (All times eastern)
Houston Rockets (27-20) at Minnesota Timberwolves (10-36), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Timberwolves take aim at their first three- game win streak of the season, while the Houston Rockets will try to extend an impressive run of road victories when the two clubs clash this evening at the Target Center.
Minnesota is fresh off a pair of home triumphs over Chicago and the Los Angeles Clippers and has won five of its last seven games following a dismal 5-34 start to the season. The improving club has also posted four consecutive victories at the Target Center, where the Wolves are now 8-14 in 2007-08.
The Timberwolves recorded one of their most impressive performances of the year on Friday, when Al Jefferson racked up 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way in a 104-83 rout of a short-handed Clippers' squad.
Craig Smith poured in 21 points off the bench for Minnesota, while Ryan Gomes added 18 points and nine boards in the victory. Rashad McCants contributed 14 points to the winning effort.
The Timberwolves figure look to continue their recent success against a Houston team that has ripped off seven straight wins on the road. The Rockets have not won eight straight as the visitor since the 1996-97 campaign.
Houston's latest road victim was the Milwaukee Bucks, who suffered a 91-83 defeat to the Rockets Saturday at the Bradley Center. Houston began this current three-game trip with a 106-103 decision at Indiana on Friday.
Tracy McGrady had his strongest game in two months for the Rockets, as the star guard compiled 33 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. McGrady's performance overshadowed the matchup between Chinese Titans Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian.
Yao got the better of his countrymate in the game, as the Houston center posted 12 points and 12 rebounds to help the Rockets win for the seventh time in eight games.
Houston, which is 15-11 on the road for the year, starts up a four-game homestand with Thursday's encounter against Cleveland.
The Rockets recorded a 113-82 home win over the T-Wolves on January 11 and have taken two straight in the overall series. However, Minnesota won both games between the teams played at the Target Center last season.
02/04 10:59:45 ET