National Basketball Association
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           === Timberwolves send Rockets to seventh straight loss ===
 Minneapolis,  MN (Sports Network) - Andrei Kirilenko led six Minnesota players
 in  double figures  with  21 points  as the  Timberwolves  downed the  Houston
 Rockets, 92-79, at Target Center on Saturday.
 Luke  Ridnour  added 16 points and  Chris Johnson had 15 for the Timberwolves,
 who  snapped a  five-game skid.  Johnson had  13 of  his points  in the  final
 "At  times I  really didn't know what to do offensively," Johnson admitted. "I
 had to get more familiar with the offense. They just put me in the right spots
 to be successful tonight and just made good plays."
 Derrick  Williams, J.J.  Barea and  Mickael Gelabale  finished with  11 points
 apiece in the triumph.
 James  Harden had  18  points, seven  rebounds and  five  assists, and  Carlos
 Delfino added 15 points for the Rockets, losers of seven straight games.
 "I'm  not playing to  the best of my ability," Harden said of Houston's losing
 skid.  "I'm not making  shots, not making plays and I think we're just kind of
 in a fog right now and we've got to find some way to get out of this fog."
 Jeremy Lin and Greg Smith added 12 points apiece in the setback.
 Minnesota  led  21-16 after the  first quarter and took  a 44-38 lead into the
 break after leading by as many as 11 in the second quarter.
 Houston,  though, outscored  Minnesota 21-19 in the third to go into the final
 period  trailing 65-59.  The  Rockets scored  the final  seven  points of  the
 Johnson personally outscored the Rockets, 6-3, over the first three minutes of
 the fourth to give the Wolves a 71-62 lead. Houston was within 84-77 with 3:06
 left following Harden's jumper.
 Johnson countered with a dunk to start an 8-0 run that sealed the outcome.
                                   Game Notes
 Minnesota  outscored  Houston, 40-28,  in the  paint ...  The Wolves shot 46.9
 percent  (30-for-64) from  the field while holding the Rockets to 32.1 percent
 (25-for-78)  efficiency  ... Kirilenko  also had 11  rebounds and three steals
 ... Harden and Lin went a combined 8-for-30 from the floor.
 01/20 01:58:34 ET