Rockets beat T-Wolves 104-101 in playoff series opener


It's the first time a LeBron James-led team has dropped the opening game of the first round of the playoffs.

Karl-Anthony Towns has the potential to rack up as many boards as he wants in a game, Jimmy Butler is built for taking over close games in the playoffs and despite the fact that this is the first time in 13 years that Minnesota has made the playoffs, they have plenty of veteran experience in Jamal Crawford, Taj Gibson, and Derrick Rose. The Houston Rockets have lost just two home games since Christmas.

The NBA Playoffs got off to a great start on Saturday, and Sunday was no different.

Houston Rockets forward/center Ryan Anderson (ankle) is "50-50" to play in Game 1 on Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves finished 47-35 on the season, one game ahead of Denver to earn the final playoff spot in the West. Minnesota let an eight point halftime lead slip away as the Nuggets forced overtime before regrouping.

Minnesota scored four straight points to get within 3 with about 30 seconds left. Also, combine the Timberwolves road scoring with the Rockets home scoring and you get 222 points per game.

Jeff Teague ended Minnesota's scoring drought with two free throws after the timeout and added a 3-point play after a basket by Harden. Towns had 12 rebounds and two assists.

This will be an interesting thing to keep an eye on in the playoffs with the Rockets - seeing how often its bigs switching onto Harden and how much he makes them pay. Their "reward" was a date with the top-seeded Rockets.

He went down with a knee injury in their second match-up on February 23rd, then missed the last two games between the two teams. Eric Gordon is putting up 18 points per contest while Clint Capela averages 13.9 points plus 10.8 rebounds a night.

BC-BKN-Timberwolves-Rockets, 1st Ld-Writethru, 670Harden scores 44 points, Rockets beat Wolves 104-101AP Photo NVJL114, NVJL119, NVJL105, NVJL103, NVJL101, NVJL106Eds: APNewsNow. While it's fair to say that the Rockets had most teams' numbers this season, the fact remains that it's hard to argue with a sweep.