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Wolves vs. Rockets: Recap

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves are trailing behind in the NBA playoffs. They were falling into a 0-2 deficit against the Houston Rockets because Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns hadn’t shown up to play for the past two games. Finally, the Wolves responded back with a 121-105 victory on Saturday. The question is, can they do it again?

Wolves turning Things around

The two superstars finally woke up and put on a show at home in Game 3. Butler led the way, coming out in full beast mode throughout the whole game. For the first half, he had 11 points, shooting 5-8 of his shots. He then ended the night with 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Minnesota Timberwolves
Jimmy Butler pulls up shot. April 21, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Earlier in the series, Butler only averaged 12 points for the first two games of the series. Towns finally got past Houston’s double-team defense and had a breakout game as well. For the first two games of the series, he was locked down against Houston’s defense, being double-teamed and was only scoring single-digit numbers.

This was very rare for a player who averages 20 plus points per game since 1979. In the game, on Saturday, Towns didn’t score until the second quarter. He finally broke loose after dunking over Rockets’ center Clint Capela. Towns finished the night with 18 points shooting 5 for 13, but it still wasn’t one of his best games.

Five Wolves Scored more than 17 points

These two superstars weren’t the only ones who contributed to the win. They had help throughout the whole game. Andrew Wiggins has been the main standout throughout the whole series, scoring 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in Saturday’s game. Former Cleveland Cavalier, Derrick Rose provided assistance for the Wolves coming off the bench. He finished the night with 17 points in 21 minutes.

Point guard, Jeff Teague was also on fire Saturday night penetrating the basket and shooting from the perimeter and making an and-one floater in the fourth quarter to keep Minnesota in the lead. After that, Butler followed behind with a three-pointer, stripped Rockets’ superstar, James Harden, and then passed it to Teague to score another three. This was the first time the Timberwolves had won a playoff game since 2004.

Keys for Game 4

The Timberwolves spotted Houston’s defense and began to strategize to pull off a win to hold on in the series. They shot 50 percent from the floor and went 15 for 27 from three-point range. This could give Minnesota the spark that they needed in order to win the next few games to knock Houston out of the playoffs. If the Rockets play with intensity on offense like they have been in the regular season, and re-strategize their defense in order to shut down Towns, then they should be able to finish off the Timberwolves.

Minnesota Timberwolves
James Harden playing defense on Towns
(Houston Chronicle)

Harden went 9 for 21 in Saturday’s game; this was a sloppy game for the MVP runner-up. For the first two games, he had a total of 56 points, leading the Rockets with the help of Chris Paul. Paul only had 17 points and six assists on Saturday. If this dynamic duo plays smart on offense, then they will lead their team to the next round. Game 4 will be at Houston on Tuesday, April 23rd.

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