The Houston Rockets entered the Wednesday night affair against the Wolves having scored 120 points in each of their last three games. They didn't quite get there, but did use a 17 point 4th quarter performance from James Harden to pace a 87-84 win.
"Disappointing loss. We had control of it in the third quarter and we let it slip away," said head coach Rick Adelman. "Then it was anybody's game and they made the plays."
Harden entered the game averaging 25 points was held to just 13 points through three quarters but finished with a game high 30 points. The Wolves used a 25-6 run between the second and third quarters to build a 14 point lead. Harden's fourth quarter domination was evident as he scored 14 of the Rockets final 16 points in the win.
Kevin Love struggles from the floor continued as the all-star shot just 3- for-12 and scored just seven points. Love, who was 0-for-seven from three point range had two wide open looks late in the game that would have extended or taken the lead.
"All I can say is he (Love) is our best player," said Adelman. "He got three wide open threes. I think I will take those anytime."
Rookie Alexey Shved continued his strong play since entering the starting lineup seven games ago. Shved pumped in 16 points for Minnesota. The Wolves were led in scoring by J.J. Barea's 18 points off the bench.
Nikola Pekovic missed much of the second half with an illness and finished with two points on just one field goal.
The bench came to play with 43 points led by Barrea, unfortunately the starters didn't help the cause with only 41.
The loss marks the second consecutive game the Wolves let a double digit second half lead slip away and watched as one player on the opposing team led their team to a win. Sunday it was Carmello Anthony's heroics in the 4th quarter, Wednesday it was Harden.
"He is tough," said Adelman. "He finishes, he gets to the basket and he is a very good player."
Guard Ricky Rubio saw his minutes increase to a season high 21 in the game, up from the 18 he had been playing since returning from a knee injury. He finished the game with eight points.
The Wolves are now even at 13-13 and the team remains home Saturday night as they will face Phoenix at 7PM.
The game can be seen live on MY29.