The Minnesota Timberwolves host the Houston Rockets in game 4 of their Western Conference Playoff series on Monday night. The Houston Rockets had the best record in the NBA during the regular season and are the top seed in the West. The Timberwolves snuck into the playoffs on the final night of the season and are the 8 seed.
Houston looked unbeatable at home, but the Timberwolves showed they had some fight left in game 3. Minnesota beat the Rockets 121-105 in game 3 to make the series 2-1. Minnesota will try to even the series in game 4. The Timberwolves are +5.5 against the Houston Rockets in game 4.
Karl-Anthony Towns Finally Showed Up for Wolves
The Timberwolves were desperately waiting for Karl-Anthony Towns to show up in this series and he arrived in game 3. The young star scored 18 points in the Wolves win after scoring just 13 runs in the first two games combined. Towns will need to keep playing well if the Wolves are going to even up the series.
Minnesota guards, Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague, both had outstanding games on both sides of the ball to help their team get a win. Butler scored a team-high 28 points while also playing solid defense on James Harden. Teague outplayed Rockets star Chris Paul and finished with 23 points and 8 assists. The Wolves will again lean on these two veterans in game 4.
Houston Must Defend to Win
The Houston Rockets have a high powered offense, but they must also defend if they want to advance. The Rockets gave up 121 points in game 3 and allowed the Timberwolves to shoot 50% from the field. Houston never made Minnesota uncomfortable in game 3, and must increase the pressure and intensity in game 4.
James Harden had another solid game in game 3 (29 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists), but wasn’t able to get to the rim as easily as he is used to. The Wolves frustrated the MVP candidate and challenged him with many different defenders. Chris Paul was outplayed by Jeff Teague in game 3, and the Rockets have to expect more from their All Star point guard. The Rockets will have to play tougher and smarter if they want to bounce back in game 4.
Houston Pushes Wolves to the Brink
Houston was on cruise control for much of the regular season, but they ran into a speed bump in game 3. The Wolves were ready to go at home and earned their first playoff win in 14 years. The 8 seed is trying to prove that they can knock off the favorites, but need to take game 4 as well.
The Rockets can’t simply rely on their offense to win this series. Houston must play tougher defense in game 4 if they want to leave Minnesota with a 3-1 lead. The Timberwolves will compete and make it difficult, but ultimately the Rockets will prove to be too much. Bet the Houston Rockets -5.5 over the Minnesota Timberwolves in game 4.
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