James Harden finished with a triple-double as the Rockets closed the regular season with a 123-118 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night at Toyota Center.
He scored 27 points, on 13 shots, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out 2 assists for his 22nd triple-double of the season. He had nine for his career coming into the season. He also became the first player in NBA history with a 2,000 point, 900 assists, and 600 rebound season.
The win gives the Rockets a 55-27 record for the 2016-17 season, a 14 win improvement over the prior season.
Houston jumped out to an early 13-point lead, but the Wolves closed to within a point by the end of the first quarter and led by as many as nine in the second quarter, though the game was tied at 60 at halftime, though the Rockets started the second half on a 16-7 run, and led by as many as 10 before the Wolves closed to within six with 2:15 left in the third quarter, but the Rockets finished the quarter strong.
They scored the last eight points, Nene followed a Lou Williams 3-pointer with a layup, thanks to a Williams pass. Then with 18 seconds left, Anderson fed Harden for a triple to give the Rockets their biggest lead of the night.
The Rockets did push the gap to as many as 19, though the Wolves finished the game on a 19-5 run.
Clint Capela finished the game with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Ryan Anderson added 20. He attempted 15 three-pointers, making six. Trevor Ariza scored 15 points, while Eric Gordon gave the Rockets 11.
Karl-Anthony Towns’ 28-point, 21-rebound night led Minnesota. Shabazz Muhammad added 22, while Andrew Wiggins scored 21.
Minnesota finished the season 31-51.