Houston Rockets (17-13) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (14-16)
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Last game: Minnesota: W, 102-90 vs Charlotte, Houston: W, 96-95 vs Oklahoma City
Minnesota beat a team they should have beaten on Wednesday, allowing Charlotte to hang around for the first half before turning up the intensity in the second half and beating the Bobcats handily. Kevin Love threw up 30 points and 18 rebounds (a fairly unremarkable number for him…) while Nikola Pekovic continued to dominate close to the basket, contributing 21 points. Rubio dished out seven assists. Bobcats rookie Kemba Walker (<3) scored 21 in the loss.
Houston won an impressive game against the Thunder on Wednesday. The Rockets ran out to a big lead before the Thunder came roaring back, and the teams traded leads in the third and fourth quarters. Durant missed a floater with the Thunder down by a point in the final seconds, and Houston sent Oklahoma City to just their 7th loss. Kevin Martin poured in 32 points as Houston moved to 17-13 on the season, good for 6th place in the West.
The Key Questions (and Matchups)
After the last game these guys played, I rashly wrote (paraphrasing) “You would be hard-pressed to convince me Houston is better than Minnesota at this point.”
After the past two weeks, I’m much closer to being convinced.
But let’s be honest: we’ve seen these guys enough to know what to expect. This is the fourth time these teams have played each other this season. Any two teams who play each other on a consistent basis will develop some bad blood. That bad blood spilled over a little bit in the last matchup at the Target Center.
Without further ado and in place of the usual preview format, I present my creation, in honor of the internet meme that has been crushing Facebook over the past week.
Thank you guys. I’ll be here all week.
I will be responsible for no jinxes tonight. I think Houston wins this one, evening the season series. I think the home crowd will rattle Kevin Love by booing him every time he touches the ball, and I think a motivated Houston squad gets their revenge.