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Wolves vs. Rockets: Game #81

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The Minnesota Timberwolves face off against the Houston Rockets in the penultimate game of the year.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Wolves v. Rockets

7:00 PM CT

FS North

The Wolves look to extend their winning streak tonight against the Houston Rockets, a team that is still in the playoff hunt, being only one game behind the Utah Jazz for the 8th seed in the Western Conference. A Wolves' win tonight would place the Rockets post-season hopes in serious jeopardy.

The Rockets have had a disappointing season this year after losing to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in the Conference Finals. Houston is an interesting team in that they lead the league in three-point makes, three-point attempts, and free-throw attempts per game, yet rank 21st in three-point percentage and 28th in free-throw percentage, according to Basketball Reference. The Rockets also turn over the ball often (14.2% of offensive possessions) and their defense leaves much to be desired.

James Harden is obviously the driving force behind the Rockets and the team's success and failure fall on his shoulders. The Rockets can be a very dangerous team when he decides to at least somewhat try on defense and with the team's postseason dreams on the line, it will be interesting to see what version of James Harden arrives at the Target Center tonight.

The Wolves have lost both previous meetings with the Rockets so far this season, 107-104 and 116-111. After tonight, the Wolves will close out the season at home against the New Orleans Pelicans, hopefully riding the wave behind Western Conference Player of the Week Karl-Anthony Towns and a four game winning streak.


Expected Lineups

Wolves

Ricky Rubio

Zach LaVine

Andrew Wiggins

Gorgui Dieng

Karl-Anthony Towns

Rockets

Patrick Beverly

James Harden

Trevor Ariza

Donatas Motiejunas

Dwight Howard

Notable Injuries:

HOU G Corey Brewer (OUT)

Rockets' blog is The Dream Shake.

Don't do anything you aren't supposed to do. Enjoy the game.