Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 takeaways from Game 3 vs. Rockets

Timberwolves Blast Rockets

Timberwolves Blast Rockets

Houston won the lone playoff series between the teams, taking a 3-0 series win over Minnesota in the first round of the 1997 National Basketball Association playoffs. The T'Wolves trail the Rockets two games to one in the series. The Rockets' three point shooting has been even worse as they are hitting a paltry 31.5 percent from beyond the arc: they hit 69.6 percent at the charity stripe.

Game 4 tips off Monday night in Minnesota. Of the Timberwolves' 85 games, 46 have finished over the O/U total.

The Wolves Big 3 -- Butler, Towns and Wiggins - made a 26-14 run in the 3rd period to secure the 12 point game advantage 87-75.

James Harden and Chris Paul examined the box score as they sat down at the podium after the Rockets' 121-105 loss to the Timberwolves.

Houston ranks first in three pointers attempted per game (42.4) while Minnesota ranks last (22.5). Paul led the way with 27 points and 8 assists and Gerald Green scored 21 points off of the bench. As a team, the Rockets shot 45 percent from the field and 15 of 41 from the three-point line but they let themselves down defensively, particularly in the second half where they were outscored by 69-54.

After totaling only 13 points over the first two games and being challenged to be more aggressive by everyone from TNT analyst Charles Barkley to Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau, Towns was constantly double-teamed by the switch-heavy Rockets and didn't attempt a shot in the first quarter.

Jimmy Butler outplayed Harden with 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting (4-of-6 from three-point range) and only one turnover, and he has looked healthy through the first three games after dealing with a knee injury toward the end of the regular season. That, along with a resurgence from Karl-Anthony Towns, helped Minnesota get a win and get back in the series. This was likely the 3-point shooting for the Timberwolves, who made the same number of 3-pointers as the Rockets, but much more efficiently. Minnesota has seen the under go 5-0 in their last 5 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game, 5-1 in their last six against the Southwest Division and 5-1 in their last 6 games following a ATS win.

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