Karl-Anthony Towns recorded 31 points, seven rebounds and five assists before fouling out, and he led the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 114-107 victory over the host Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.
Juancho Hernangomez added 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting off the bench as Minnesota (19-44) increased its winning streak to a season-best three games. The Timberwolves snapped a 14-game losing skid in Houston with its first road win in the series since Feb. 17, 2012.
Kelly Olynyk scored 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting and also had nine rebounds and five assists for NBA-worst Houston (15-47), which has lost five straight games, 10 of its past 11 and 37 of its last 41.
Christian Wood registered 24 points, 18 rebounds and five assists, Jae’Sean Tate added 20 points and seven rebounds and Kenyon Martin Jr. scored 15 points for the Rockets.
Anthony Edwards contributed 19 points, nine rebounds and three steals and D’Angelo Russell had 15 points and seven assists for the Timberwolves, who shot 48.4 percent from the field, including 10 of 38 (26.3 percent) from 3-point range.
The Rockets connected on 48.8 percent of their shots and were 7 of 31 (22.6 percent) from behind the arc.
Houston rolled off nine straight points to turn a nine-point deficit into a tie at 102 on Wood’s basket with 2:38 remaining.
Towns fouled out on a charging call with 2:21 left, but Minnesota wasn’t dismayed. Hernangomez made two free throws, Jarred Vanderbilt scored on a tip-in, Russell scored on a fast-break layup and Edwards added a driving hook to give the Timberwolves a 110-102 advantage with 56.9 seconds left.
Edwards later added a dunk to increase the margin to 10 with 24.4 seconds as the Timberwolves closed it out.
Hernangomez scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first half as Minnesota led 59-50 at the break.
The Rockets scored 17 of the first 24 points in the third quarter to move ahead at 67-66 on Tate’s basket with 5:54 left.
Houston’s lead expanded to 77-71 on a basket by Martin with 3:13 left. Russell scored Minnesota’s final seven points of the quarter, and the Timberwolves trailed 79-78 entering the fourth.
Olynyk’s basket gave the Rockets an 85-82 lead with 9:52 remaining in the game before the Timberwolves rattled off the next eight points to lead by five.
–Field Level Media