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I know Rockets playing 4th in 5 and Howard, Beverley have not played in 2 weeks. But Pels without top 7 !! scorers, also played last night.
Career high du jour: Luke Babbitt with 19.
Troy Daniels for three! Rockets have closed to within 95-92, 5:35 left.
Kind of says a lot about confidence McHale has in Hamilton, Casspi at this point. Going w Troy Daniels in 4th quarter of his 2nd game today.
Harden and Beverley with back-to-back threes, Rockets within 90-84, 7:55 left. Pelicans going right at Lin last three possessions.
For 2nd night in a row, Harden matching up defensively at PF. Desperate Rockets going with Beverley, Lin, Daniels, Harden, Howard.
Fourth quarter begins with Howard, Harden missing at the rim, Howard missing 2 fts. But help is on the way. Troy Daniels checking back in
Pelicans (well, some of them) 82, Rockets 72 after 3. For tonight's career-high watch, Luke Babbitt has 17, one shy of his career best.
82-72 New Orleans heading to the fourth. Seriously. Rockets just 4-16 from three-point range. In desperate need of a spark.
I stand corrected. Hamilton was coming in, but McHale decided to go to the D-League well. Troy Daniels in, playing in second game of the day
Hamilton checking back in for Casspi. After that, well, there are some Vipers in town.
Casspi came up empty on a break to fall to 0 for 4. Someone named James Southerland hit a 3. Pelicans back up 10.
Jeremy Lin may be a -12 tonight, but he he hasn't missed a shot yet -- he's 4-4 from the field, his last one a three. Rockets within 73-66.
Rockets cut the lead to single digits. A stirring comeback against Babbit, Ajinca and Co. (Unbelievable it's come to this.)
Pels 59, Rox 46 at half. NO 6 of 12 on 3s; Houston 2 of 12. Pels with just 3 tos. Harden with 12p, 7 a. Howard 10p, just 1r. Asik 9p, 8r.
McHale might need to deliver halftime speech wearing a hockey mask & holding a chainsaw. Rockets down 59-46 at half to weak Pelicans squad.
With three minutes left in half, the players usually at end of Pels bench hitting 50 %, lead Rockets 53-41. Bring on the Spurs!
As important as getting Beverley, Howard back and up to speed is, and for Parsons to get night off, a win might be useful. Rockets down 12.
Playing the role of Gorgui Dieng is Alexis Ajinca. Career-highs are 19 pts, 3 blocks. He has 13 & 2, 3:00 left 1st half. Rockets down 53-41.
Rockets up 22-20 after 1. Would think we'll see return of Beverley, Lin backcourt to start second quarter. Rockets ought to open it up here.
Rockets up 22-20 after one. Harden with all Houston's assists (6). Asik is actually leading the team in scoring (8 points) and rebounds (6).
Harden 1 of 4, but w all 6 Rockets assists (and slick pass to Asik to draw foul with.6 left in q). Asik, Lin looked good in 7 min off bench.
James Harden having another high-assist first quarter. He's got 5 dimes, but Rockets-Pelicans tied at 16 w/ 2:31 left 1Q.
Pels' second- and third-teamers shooting 50 percent through eight minutes. Seems like I've typed versions of that a lot lately.
Lin in for Beverley after 5 1/2 minutes. Immediately beats Rivers off the dribble.
Asik checking in for Howard after just five minutes. Rockets likely limiting Howard's minutes, but he looked OK.
Howard, Beverley moving well in first game back, but there might be some signs of rust, too. Both missed bunnies early.
With Casspi starting with Parsons, Garcia out, Rockets move on to lineup No. 15 of the season. Beverley, Howard back in starting lineup.
If nothing else, Rockets made tonight interesting with Howard, Beverley back, Parsons, Garcia out and Harden singing in the locker room.
Good morning tweets.. Good day to win a ball game .. Wouldn't you say..
Rockets need any combination of 2 wins or Portland losses to clinch HCA. Play Pels twice, Spurs at home; Blazers home for Warriors, Clips.
Of Brewer's 19 fgs, 16 were layups or dunks. Rockets allowed 39 FB pts for 2nd time in three games, 12 more than in any previous game.
Brewer career highs for pts, fga, fgs, fta, fts and steals. Adelman: "Way up there, I tell ya. I don't think they knew what to do with him."
Brewer also had a career-high six steals. Only Brewer, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and Rick Barry had 50 with six steals in a game.
Corey Brewer's shot chart looks like someone spilled an ink well around the basket. Cisco Garcia: "He took all layups. It's frustrating."
Since Beverley & Howard went out, Rockets have given up 115.9 points per game over 8 games. They can't get Bev back soon enough.
Dieng jumper with 4.6 left wins it. Wolves 112, Rockets 110. Brewer with 51. Harden with 33, 10a, 8r. Parsons w 27. Rockets 22 turnovers.
After Harden 3, Rubio finds Dieng for a bucket. Harden can't conjure another miracle this time. Wolves get well-deserved win 112-110.
FINAL: TWolves 112, Rockets 110. Harden 33p-9a-8r-6stl, Parsons 27p, but Corey Brewer's insane night (51p), Rocket turnovers (22) too much.
James Harden. Who else.
Harden ties it with a 3.
He did it again
Parsons with a quick slam out of the timeout, giving him 27, but Rubio makes two free throws and it's 110-107 MIN, 19.9 sec left.
Last timeout for HOU as Rubio nets 2-2 this time. 110-107 Wolves, 19.9 to go. Still enough time to get another quick 2, though.
Rockets take the quick 2, a Parsons dunk. Rubio back to line with a 1-point lead, 19.9 left. Hits both.
Rubio hits 1 of 2 fts. Rockets TO down 3 with 23.8 left. Brewer pass to Dieng for 4-pt lead was his 1st assist, showing he did everything.
Harden has 30/8/9 (and 6 steals, 5 turnovers). Highly doubtful that will be his final line. He's been larcenous in these situations lately.
Rubio makes 1-2 free throws. Last good chance for Rockets, down 108-105 w/ 23.8 seconds left.
So after 51 points (tying franchise record), Brewer gets first assist on dish to Dieng for long 2. Rockets down 2, 23.8 to go. Been here b4.
Parsons stripped Brewer on a drive, but then charged into Rubio. Wolves up two, 1 min left before Brewer can send his shoes to Springfield.
For all of their fourth quarter foibles, Wolves are 4-0 in games decided by 5 points or fewer since March 1.
Asik fouls Brewer shooting a jumper. Place goes nuts when he hits his free throws for 51, matching franchise record for any game.
Harden with slick split of the double-team, dishes to Lin for 3. Then Parsons steal and dunk. We're tied at 103 with 1:44 to go.
Lin 3, Parsons steal and dunk and this thing is tied with two minutes left. Crazy game.
Now that he is up to 49, Brewer has most points scored in regulation in Wolves history. Franchise record is 51 by Love in double OT.
Corey Brewer has played seven seasons in the NBA and he is nine points away from *doubling* his career-high. 49 points.
Corey Brewer with more points (47) than any Wolves player has scored this season or any player has scored vs. Houston.
Rockets down 3 as Harden picks up his fifth foul with four minutes left.
And that number is about to be 34. Worth nothing that 4Q closeouts have not exactly been a strong suit for MIN this season.
T-Wolves foul less than any other team in NBA. Rockets had averaged around 18 FTs/game vs MIN this year. They've got 32 FTs tonight.
A few fans start the MVP chant with Brewer at the line.
Rockets gave up 39 fast break points in LA to start the trip. Wolves up to 36 on break with 6:24 left to end it.
Brewer heading to line with 44. Most against Rockets this season Carmelo's 45. Most for Wolves Love's 45.
Rockets' strategy: Make Corey Brewer think he's MJ so he'll take heat checks throughout the 4Q. Sneaky.
Corey Brewer fails to get the superstar call. Adelman can't believe it. That's Corey Brewer.
Rockets fail to get the rebound of a missed free throw. Brewer layup. Followed by a Brewer layup. He has 44. Wolves up 3.
Corey Brewer have it all. And then some.
Corey Brewer, 44 points... and there's 8:40 left in the game. 90-87 TWolves.
Season high vs. Rockets is Carmelo's 45. Corey Brewer (?!) has 36 after 3.
So much ugliness, but a Harden buzzer-beater puts HOU up 84-82 heading to 4Q. 23/7/8 for JH. Imperative Rox beat up MIN bench to start 4Q.
Harden with off-balance 28-footer with .1 left. Hou 84, Minn 82 after 3. Harden 2 assists, 3 rebs from triple double. He and Parsons w 23.
What a three by Harden just before the third quarter horn! Rockets up 84-82 heading to the fourth.
Parsons looks like will be OK, but definitely needed time while officials reviewed video. Brewer offered a few words. Flagrant overturned.
Chandler Parsons went down very hard on a dunk attempt. Could hear the crash on the floor. He's shaken up. Brewer flagrant.
If you're into bricks, air balls and turnovers, this third quarter is a basketball Mona Lisa.
Rockets go three-consecutive possessions without a turnover. Game is halted to mark the occasion.
Rockets up to 17 tos, 7 in 6 2nd half mins. Brewer turns his 6th steal into another layup, has a career-high 30. Wolves with 24 pts off tos.
HOU w/ 7 TOs so far in 3Q (only halfway through). MIN with 24 pts off those TOs, 30 fast break points and Brewer now has career high (30).
Jeremy Lin has five turnovers in just 17 minutes tonight, including three this quarter. He checks out, Rockets down 70-68.
Rockets go back to the no point guard lineup. Lin sits 2 of 6 with five turnovers in 17 mins. Rubio on Parsons.
Wolves play elevator music during the delay. Cop dancing to it looks like Steve Martin in the beginning of "The Jerk.'
Rockets with five empty possessions to start second half. Have yet to get a good look.
Guy standing on tower of stacked chairs at halftime. Pretty amazing, but I'm more stunned that he left house in that spandex jumpsuit.
HALF: Rockets 63, TWolves 59. Rockets wake up in 2Q. Parsons has 18p, Harden 15p-7a. Those two and JLin a combined 8-10 from three.
Parsons 7-9 from field, 4-5 from deep. Brewer, meanwhile, just 3 points shy of career-high. He's got 26 after half-court bomb beats buzzer.
Corey Brewer banks in 47-footer at buzzer. Rockets 63, Wolves 59 at half. Rockets 25-3 when scoring 60 in the first half. Brewer with 26.
Deja vu. Corey Brewer has done this before.
Rockets' roller coaster now pointing up. Parsons has caught fire. T-Jones throwing block party. Once down 15, HOU heads to half up 63-59.
Apparently Olandis Poole came to Minneapolis for the weather. Forte, Stafford having to make some long-distance calls. Many going uncalled.
What a difference some defense makes. Rockets gave up 39 points in the first quarter, just 15 in the second. 60-54 Rockets, 34.1 sec 2Q.
Chandler Parsons has struggled with his 3-ball for weeks, but 3 of 4 on 3s in first half, has 15 on 6 of 8 shooting.
Those seven 3s also give HOU 51 for season vs T-Wolves. Franchise record for made 3s vs one team is 57. League record is 59. Both in play.
Mentioned in preview: HOU shooting nearly 46% from 3 this season vs MIN. 7-13 (53.8%) tonight, w/ latest a Lin 3 to give HOU 55-52 lead.
Rockets goofy lineup shored things up a bit on defense, but after 3 poor, sloppy offensive possessions, Lin back at point, Jones inside.