The Wolves are coming off a fun, fun win last night in Dallas. We saw some great things from Ricky Rubio, Gorgui Dieng, and some late game heroics from Kevin Love in a game where both teams played very well.
The Wolves are now 3-1 against the Mavericks this season, but are now moving on to face a team that has already handed Minnesota pair of double digit losses. That team is the 45-22 Houston Rockets.
Currently sitting at 4th in the Western Conference, the Rockets ended a season high 3-game losing streak Monday in a blowout win over the Utah Jazz. Terrence Jones led the way with 30 points, and 4 of the 5 Rockets starters came away with double digits in the scoring column.
Like the Wolves, Houston got the win without their starting center.
Nikola Pekovic will be out again, but thankfully for the Wolves, so will Dwight Howard, who has missed some time with an ankle injury. Even in Howard's absence, the Rockets still have Omer Asik on-hand, who will start tonight and likely give Gorgui Dieng all he can handle inside from a physical standpoint.
Another matchup to watch for will be Chandler Parsons and Corey Brewer at the small forward position. Brewer's tendency to bite at a good pump fake, combined with Parsons' unbelievably deceptive pump fake could make for some easy opportunities for the Rockets. Seriously, there's even a youtube video dedicated to his shot fake.
In fairness, Parsons has been off his game over the past week or so, only compiling 17 total points over his past 3 games (he averages 16 points per game). This isn't to say that the stars are aligned for a him to have a big night, but much, much stranger things have happened.
Their first meeting was in November, when Patrick Beverley and Aaron Brooks (who now plays for Denver) combined for 11-15 from beyond the arc to give the Rockets a 112-101 win in Houston. James Harden and Dwight Howard only had to combine for 30 points in the effort.
Their most recent encounter was in early February, when the Rockets pounded the Wolves 107-89 in Minneapolis. It was during the stretch when the team was without both Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic, and Kevin Love was forced to, more or less, carry the entire offense.
Tonight's game will be at 7pm and will be broadcast on FS North. We'll be up with our game threads later tonight.