The Houston Rockets had the best record in the National Basketball Association during the regular season and are the top seed in the West.
Last time they played at Target Center, the Minnesota Timberwolves clinched their first playoff berth since 2004. Targeting the T-Wolves tonight depends on which team you feel shows up on both sides of this game.
It may seem harsh, but guard James Harden didn't dispute the assessment, agreeing that the team hasn't been in rhythm for a while. Jimmy Butler snapped out of his recent funk as he had a team-high 28 points, with seven rebounds, and five assists. With a hostile crowd behind the Timberwolves' newfound confidence, a great start is exactly what the Rockets need to regain control of this series in Game 4.
Harden and co-star Chris Paul both emphasized that the primary reason for the Rockets' Game 3 loss was an uncharacteristically poor defensive performance.
Clint Capela vs Karl-Anthony Towns - After his outstanding 24-point Game 1, Capela has been a less involved part of the Rockets offense over the past couple of games.
Towns and Butler might be the stars, but Teague and Andrew Wiggins have been the steadying force this series. Rockets win 123-118. Teague notched 23 points and eight assists, while Wiggins went for 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Their 121 points was a franchise record, too. Houston never made Minnesota uncomfortable in game 3, and must increase the pressure and intensity in game 4.
Rockets superstar and leading NBA MVP candidate James Harden who was described by Turner Network Television (TNT) analyst Charles Barkley as unguardable, topscored for the Rockets with 29 points 9-for-21 from the field and 3-for-8 from 3-point arc.
Minnesota dug itself a 2-0 series hole as they couldn't come up with the critical plays in Game 1 and couldn't buy a bucket in Game 2. Houston shot the ball a little better in Game 3, but they allowed Minnesota to shoot 50 percent from the floor and 55.6 percent from beyond the arc.