James Harden’s 34 point, 12 assist night helped the Rockets to a 129-120 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday night at the Target Center.
Despite shooting just 2-of-9 from behind the 3-point line, Harden connected on 7-of-9 from inside the arc and made all 14 of his free throw attempts as the Rockets improve to 56-14 on the season.
The game featured two ties and three lead changes, but P.J. Tucker’s 3-pointer with 7:44 to go in the first quarter gave the Rockets the lead for good. The margin got to as high as 25, though the Wolves made Houston work for the win down the stretch.
The fourth quarter started with the Rockets lead 109-91, but the Wolves scored the first 11 points of the final stanza. Chris Paul and Harden gave the Rockets back-to-back buckets to push the lead back to double-digits. Minnesota did trim the lead to five on Karl-Anthony Towns’ dunk with under four minutes to play, but after a timeout, Trevor Ariza drained a three-pointer, and the Rockets never led by fewer than six the rest of the way.
Harden was one of seven Rockets to score in double-figures as Paul scored 18, Clint Capela 16, to go with 12 rebounds, Ryan Anderson 14, Gerald Green and Tucker 12, and Ariza 11.
The Rockets shot 16-of-35 from behind the 3-point line.
Four Wolves scored at least 20 points, led by Jeff Teague’s 23. Minnesota falls to 40-31.
The Rockets will be back in action Tuesday night when they take on the Portland Trailblazers at the Moda Center.