National Basketball Association
Minnesota at Houston
When: 9:30 PM ET, Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
The Houston Rockets look to close out the Western Conference first-round series with Minnesota when they host the Timberwolves in Wednesday's Game 5. Houston holds a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series after using a 50-point third quarter to prevail in Game 4.
The Rockets led by just one point at halftime of Game 4 before the explosive quarter that fell one point short of the postseason record set by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1962. "We can be that team," Houston reserve guard Eric Gordon told reporters. "We just hadn't gotten into a flow throughout this whole series. It was good to see that." Eighth-seeded Minnesota faces an uphill climb against the top-seeded Rockets and instantly forgetting about the defensive breakdowns might be a tall task. "Fifty points in a quarter is a lot of points," Timberwolves shooting guard Jimmy Butler said. "That can't happen. That's the game in itself."TV:
9:30 p.m. ET, TNT, FS North (Minnesota), AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Houston)ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES:
Backup point guard Derrick Rose tallied 17 points in each of the past two games and he would be in line for a lot of minutes once again with starter Jeff Teague (two points on 1-of-7 shooting) dealing with a dislocated right pinky finger. Center Karl-Anthony Towns put together back-to-back strong games by averaging 20 points and 15.5 rebounds after averaging 6.5 points (on 5-of-18 shooting) and 11 rebounds in the first two games of the series. Butler is averaging 17.8 points in the series with a high of 28 while small forward Andrew Wiggins is chipping in 16.3 per game.
ABOUT THE ROCKETS:
Guard James Harden scored 22 of his 36 points in the third-quarter spree and is averaging 30.8 points in the series on 41.8 percent shooting. "We had the mentality to be aggressive, make or missed shots," Harden told reporters of the third-quarter outburst. "That's what we do. We shoot the basketball, and eventually they'll start falling." Point guard Chris Paul was all-around solid with 25 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals in Game 4 and is averaging 20.8 points in the series.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Timberwolves have lost 13 straight games in Houston following losses in Games 1 and 2 of this series.
2. Minnesota PF Taj Gibson is averaging just 5.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in the series after posting averages of 12.2 points and 7.1 boards during the regular season.
3. Houston C Clint Capela had 14 points and 17 rebounds in Game 4 and he is the postseason rebounding leader at 14 per game.PREDICTION:
Rockets 127, Timberwolves 93
Stats and Records