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Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 takeaways from Game 3 vs. Rockets

24 April 2018

Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni admitted as much, saying the team took a win over the Wolves for granted and didn't match their intensity. Can the Rockets tighten up on defense more like they played in Game 2? The Timberwolves snuck into the playoffs on the final night of the season and are the 8 seed.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are back in this series.

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The Rockets waxed hot early in the opening frame, 28-27, led by Gerald Greens 6 points on two 3-pointers. James Harden led the team with 29 points with seven rebounds and seven assists, Chris Paul added 17 points with six assists before fouling out while Eric Gordon chipped in with 15 points off the bench. Harden had a disgusting shooting performance in Game 2 (2-of-18 from the floor), but Paul starred with 27 points and eight assists. The Wolves will again lean on these two veterans in game 4. The Rockets gave up 121 points in game 3 and allowed the Timberwolves to shoot 50% from the field. The Wolves frustrated the MVP candidate and challenged him with many different defenders. Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague both had big games, while Derrick Rose looked like, well, Derrick Rose circa 2011 in limited time off the bench. The Rockets will have to play tougher and smarter if they want to bounce back in game 4. But if the Thunder know what's good for them, they'll do their best to ensure that they don't find themselves in the unenviable predicament of needing to becoming the 12th.

The year prior, we saw the Rockets beat the Clippers in a playoff series that essentially ended up being the last stand for Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but prior to that, it was 10 years since we'd seen a team pull off the accomplishment.

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In other words, forget winning the series, historically, the Thunder have been eliminated in five games in each of the instances in which they've fallen into that hole. The Timberwolves will compete and make it hard, but ultimately the Rockets will prove to be too much.

During the 2017-18 National Basketball Association regular season, the Houston Rockets walloped the Minnesota Timberwolves all four times they met.

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Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 takeaways from Game 3 vs. Rockets