National Basketball Association
Minnesota at Houston
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
The Houston Rockets attempt to reach the 55-win mark for just the sixth time in franchise history when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves in Wednesday's regular-season finale. The Rockets will be the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoff derby after topping 50 wins for the third time in four seasons.
Houston is focusing on getting ready for the postseason and Monday's 125-96 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers was highly disappointing but one the players say has no bearing on the upcoming playoffs. "This is why you play the season for, we're going to be ready for the playoffs, that's for sure," backup shooting guard Eric Gordon told reporters. "I think that's where we might play our best basketball where we can hone in on doing what we need to do and we had a great year to put ourselves in position." Minnesota has dropped eight straight visits to Houston, the most recent being a 142-130 loss on Feb. 25. The Timberwolves, who have lost their last five games, were hard-luck losers on Tuesday when Oklahoma City guard Victor Oladipo drained the decisive basket to hand Minnesota a 100-98 setback.TV:
8 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), ROOT (Houston)ABOUT THE TIMERWOLVES (31-50):
Center Karl-Anthony Towns has operated at will in the interior against Houston this season, averaging 33.7 points and 18.7 rebounds in three games. Towns contributed 26 points and 12 rebounds in the loss to Oklahoma City and raised his season point total to 2,033, breaking the franchise record set by Kevin Love (2,010 in 2013-14). "We wanted to come out with some wins, go out with some momentum for next season," Towns told reporters after the team's fifth straight loss. "But the only way we can do that is to go in (Wednesday) with the energy and discipline needed to win."
ABOUT THE ROCKETS (54-27):
MVP candidate James Harden is slated to play but it wouldn't be a surprise if his minutes are limited. Harden needs five assists to become the first player in NBA history with at least 2,000 points, 900 assists and 600 rebounds in a single season. Harden is averaging 28.3 points and 11.7 assists against Minnesota this season and is tied for second in the NBA in scoring at 29.1 along with Boston guard Isaiah Thomas while leading in assists at 11.2.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Rockets won nine of the past 10 meetings with the Timberwolves.
2. Minnesota SF Andrew Wiggins is averaging 23.7 points against Houston this season.
3. Houston SG Patrick Beverley (shoulder) is expected back after a one-game absence.PREDICTION:
Rockets 122, Timberwolves 109
Stats and Records