Published: Mon, April 23, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

5 takeaways from Wolves-Rockets Game 3

5 takeaways from Wolves-Rockets Game 3

A loss here would be quite surprising for the 65-win Rockets considering they haven't been beaten in back-to-back games since January 4 & Jan. 6.

The Rockets have had all kinds of problems shooting the ball in the postseason. Rose has 42 points in the series on 19-for-39 shooting in 62 minutes. James Harden led the way for the Rockets with 29 points on 9-for-21 shooting. Chris Paul chipped in 17 points, Eric Gordon added 15 off the bench, Ryan Anderson had 12 in his return to the rotation and Gerald Green had 10.

And if they can win Game 3, well, why couldn't they win Game 4? Do the Timberwolves have what it takes to even up the series at home? And heading back to Houston with a 2-2 series tie would be a massive win. Of course, those numbers are seriously inflated by their performance in Game 3. As a team, the Timberwolves shot 50 percent from the field and 15 of 27 from the three-point line but this win was all about effort and desperation and it was clear that the Timberwolves simply needed the win more.

The Timberwolves rank fourth in points in the paint per game (49.1) while the Rockets rank 28th (40.8). He's averaging 17 points, six rebounds, three assists, and the occasional block and steal. Gorgui Dieng, Jamal Crawford and Derrick Rose had one each.

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Timberwolves are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Houston never made Minnesota uncomfortable in game 3, and must increase the pressure and intensity in game 4. Towns put together a solid showing in Game 3 but he did next to nothing in the first two games of the set.

The total has gone under in six of Houston's last seven games. And head coach Mike D'Antoni knows why.

Houston's offense has been mediocre thus far in this series after being historically good during the regular season. It's unlikely that Minnesota will shoot as well from the perimeter as they did in Game 3. The Rockets were 18-1 during the regular season when he made at least three 3-point shots. Now, it's the Timberwolves who have all the momentum as their role players stepped up big in the pivotal Game 3 victory, so it'll be interesting to see if they can earn another win against the Rockets who have won 20 of the last 23 meetings. This one likely falls under the total as well thanks to Minnesota cooling off from outside and Houston playing tighter defense.

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