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NBA : ATS Matchup
Thursday 3/20/2014Line$ LineOU LineScore




MINNESOTA (34 - 32) at HOUSTON (45 - 22)
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Thursday, 3/20/2014 8:05 PM
Board OpenLatest
MINNESOTA - Current Season Performance
 Straight UpAgainst SpreadTeamOpponent
 W-LUnitsW-LO-UScoreHalfFG PctReb.ScoreHalfFG PctReb.
All Games34-32-13.833-3330-34106.355.344.0%54.2102.851.546.9%51.2
Road Games15-19-519-1517-16106.055.943.8%54.1104.952.748.1%50.8
Last 5 Games3-2-0.81-42-3107.255.845.1%45.6108.258.449.4%57.6
MINNESOTA Team Statistics
 Shooting    3pt ShootingFree Throws Rebounding 
Team Stats (All Games)106.355.339-8844.0%7-2234.1%22-2877.8%541323189134
vs opponents surrendering101.350.838-8345.3%8-2135.8%18-2475.4%511122218145
Team Stats (Road Games)106.055.938-8843.8%8-2334.8%21-2777.5%541323189133
Stats Against (All Games)102.851.540-8546.9%8-2236.1%15-2075.7%511122248166
vs opponents averaging101.450.838-8345.4%8-2136.1%18-2475.7%511122218145
Stats Against (Road Games)104.952.742-8648.1%8-2236.6%14-1875.3%511124238156

HOUSTON - Current Season Performance
 Straight UpAgainst SpreadTeamOpponent
 W-LUnitsW-LO-UScoreHalfFG PctReb.ScoreHalfFG PctReb.
All Games45-22+6.233-3132-33106.453.947.5%55.3101.750.143.9%50.4
Home Games27-7+6.217-1415-18107.955.548.0%57.298.648.442.5%50.6
Last 5 Games2-3-1.61-44-1106.248.845.4%54.0105.851.644.9%50.4
HOUSTON Team Statistics
 Shooting    3pt ShootingFree Throws Rebounding 
Team Stats (All Games)106.453.938-8047.5%9-2635.4%22-3169.9%551121207166
vs opponents surrendering100.850.538-8345.3%8-2135.9%18-2475.4%511122218145
Team Stats (Home Games)107.955.538-7948.0%10-2736.1%23-3369.3%571121208166
Stats Against (All Games)101.750.139-8843.9%8-2334.9%17-2275.9%501222259145
vs opponents averaging101.350.738-8345.5%8-2136.2%18-2376.3%511122218145
Stats Against (Home Games)98.648.438-8942.5%8-2334.4%15-2172.0%511321269145
Average power rating of opponents played: MINNESOTA 95.9,  HOUSTON 96.1
MINNESOTA - Season Results
 Team StatsOpp Stats
2/22/2014@ UTAH121-104W-4.5W196.5O43-8451.2%611137-7946.8%408
2/23/2014@ PORTLAND97-108L3.5L215U37-9439.4%611440-8348.2%4612
2/25/2014@ PHOENIX110-101W4W211.5U42-8748.3%541542-9544.2%5919
3/1/2014@ SACRAMENTO108-97W-5W215.5U37-8145.7%501037-8245.1%5319
3/3/2014@ DENVER132-128W-5.5L216.5O38-8047.5%611750-9552.6%4718
3/5/2014NEW YORK106-118L-8.5L212.5O39-9043.3%511447-9052.2%5212
3/14/2014@ CHARLOTTE93-105L-2.5L206U35-8242.7%411044-9148.4%6215
3/19/2014@ DALLAS123-122W5W210.5O44-9247.8%521347-9549.5%5616
3/20/2014@ HOUSTON              
3/24/2014@ MEMPHIS              
3/28/2014LA LAKERS              
3/30/2014@ BROOKLYN              
3/31/2014LA CLIPPERS              
4/4/2014@ MIAMI              
4/5/2014@ ORLANDO              

HOUSTON - Season Results
 Team StatsOpp Stats
2/8/2014@ MILWAUKEE101-95W-10.5L204U42-8648.8%461340-9044.4%5418
2/10/2014@ MINNESOTA107-89W-4W206.5U39-8247.6%521731-8735.6%4916
2/19/2014@ LA LAKERS134-108W-9W215O52-10450.0%731441-8448.8%3819
2/20/2014@ GOLDEN STATE99-102L-1L212.5U37-10136.6%741237-9339.8%6012
2/23/2014@ PHOENIX115-112W-1.5W213.5O41-7852.6%512242-8648.8%4116
2/25/2014@ SACRAMENTO129-103W-4W212.5O41-7256.9%511936-9040.0%4512
2/26/2014@ LA CLIPPERS93-101L5L222U34-7744.2%542041-9344.1%5011
3/5/2014@ ORLANDO101-89W-8W204U40-8248.8%592138-8445.2%4017
3/11/2014@ OKLAHOMA CITY98-106L5L216.5U33-7941.8%531334-8042.5%5713
3/13/2014@ CHICAGO87-111L-3.5L193.5O28-7935.4%591643-8650.0%457
3/16/2014@ MIAMI104-113L5.5L207.5O37-7549.3%431540-7851.3%4513
3/22/2014@ CLEVELAND              
3/24/2014@ CHARLOTTE              
3/29/2014LA CLIPPERS              
4/1/2014@ BROOKLYN              
4/2/2014@ TORONTO              
4/4/2014OKLAHOMA CITY              
MINNESOTA: GUARDS: Unlike last year, RICKY RUBIO should be 100 percent healthy for all of this season. He's one of the NBA's most creative playmakers. Now if only he could make a jump shot . . . KEVIN MARTIN has become much more of a catch-and-shoot player after years of attacking the basket and living at the line. He is coming off his best year shooting the ball . . . If the Wolves don't move J.J. BAREA, they'll have him in the sixth man role they initially envisioned before injuries destroyed the roster a year ago . . . ALEXEY SHVED did a nice job holding down this backcourt as a rookie last year, but he's a second-unit talent, which is the role he'll be in this season. FORWARDS: KEVIN LOVE should bounce back completely this season, as his hand injury is unlikely to linger. Lock him into the All-Star game . . . CHASE BUDINGER never got a chance to get going last season, but he's exactly the kind of spot-up shooter and savvy cutter who should thrive alongside Ricky Rubio. Unfortunately, he is sidelined with a knee injury for several months . . . COREY BREWER gives the Timberwolves a defensive specialist to platoon with Budinger. Someone has to convince him he can't shoot, though . . . With Love back, DERRICK WILLIAMS returns to the bench as a seemingly never-ending project . . . SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD seems like a low-risk, but low-reward, second-unit scorer . . . DANTE CUNNINGHAM will back up both post spots. He figures to play sparingly unless injuries hit. CENTERS: NIKOLA PEKOVIC signed a $60M deal in August to return to the team and hold down the low post. He's an absolute beast on the offensive boards . . . GORGUI DIENG seems ready to help off the bench. He's a bit limited athletically and on offense, but can block shots . . . RONNY TURIAF will battle Dieng for bench minutes.
HOUSTON: GUARDS: JAMES HARDEN is a franchise player, and as one of the league's elite pick-and-roll threats, he and Dwight Howard have the potential to be dominant . . . Trade rumors will continue to circle JEREMY LIN, who isn't an off-the-ball threat to fit alongside Harden. He is, however, clearly a starting-caliber point guard . . . PATRICK BEVERLEY really shined in back-up minutes last year, and he's part of the reason that Lin is expendable. He's strong defensively, and he proved capable of running the second unit. He'll be one of the league's top back-up PGs if Lin stays . . . Rookie combo guard ISAIAH CANAAN will be developed as a spot-up shooter . . . REGGIE WILLIAMS is a roster filler . . . AARON BROOKS is around as a reclamation project . . . RONNIE BREWER provides a much-needed athletic perimeter defender. FORWARDS: CHANDLER PARSONS is an elite role player. He entered the league with the reputation as a pure athlete, but it's his ability to knock down the corner three that's made him so valuable in Houston . . . GREG SMITH looks like another great find for the Rockets. He's an athletic banger who can allow Dwight Howard to roam a bit on defense . . . DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS showed flashes as a rookie, but the stretch four looks like a situational role player for the foreseeable future . . . FRANCISCO GARCIA will lend a veteran presence to the second unit . . . Versatile TERRENCE JONES could be in for more minutes as the Rockets look for the right role players . . . OMRI CASSPI might be getting his last chance at the NBA. CENTERS: DWIGHT HOWARD should be much happier in Houston, though the Rockets still have to convince him that he can dominate as a pick-and-roll player. He should make everyone forget about his season with the Lakers . . . The fact is OMER ASIK just doesn't fit alongside Howard. But if he stays somewhat happy in Houston, he could be a valuable second-unit player . . . MARCUS CAMBY has latched on to chase a ring.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO BASKETBALL PREVIEW (MINNESOTA-HOUSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Timberwolves-Rockets Preview* ==============================


Minnesota (34-32) at Houston (45-22), 8:00 p.m. EDT

A spectacular performance helped the Houston Rockets end their longest skid of the season despite playing without Dwight Howard.

With Howard likely out again, Houston might need another big offensive night as the club vies for its 10th straight home win Thursday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Rockets (45-22) dropped each game of a difficult trip that included visits to Oklahoma City, Chicago and Miami. Sunday's 113-104 loss to the Heat was particularly biting considering Houston was outscored 15-2 over the final 4:26.

Facing Utah - which owns the West's worst record - was the perfect antidote in a 124-86 home victory on Monday. The 38-point margin was the Rockets' most lopsided win of the season, and they also set season highs with 58.2 percent shooting and 30 fast-break points.

"We've been playing well and we're confident in each other and how we've been playing," said James Harden, who scored 15 points in 27 minutes after playing 43-plus minutes in three of the previous four contests. "The last three games have been a slip up, but overall I think we're in a good place."

Houston, which trails the Clippers for third place in the conference by 3 1/2 games, had averaged 96.3 points on 42.1 percent shooting with 17.3 assists during its three-game slide. The Rockets were credited with 31 assists against the Jazz.

Terrence Jones scored 30 on 11-of-15 shooting to lead six players with at least 12 points, including Omer Asik, who had 12 and 11 rebounds while starting in place of Howard. Howard had been the team's lone player to start every game before being sidelined by a mild strain to his left ankle. According to the team's Twitter feed, coach Kevin McHale doesn't expect Howard to play Thursday when the Rockets aim for their longest home winning streak since taking 12 straight from Jan. 31-March 8, 2009.

Houston held Utah to just 34 points in the paint without Howard. Limiting the Timberwolves will likely prove to be a bigger challenge with Minnesota tallying 50 or more in the paint in four of six.

The Timberwolves (34-32) nearly put an end to their already-slim playoff hopes by squandering a 22-point first-half lead Wednesday in Dallas, but they eventually claimed a 123-22 victory in overtime. Kevin Love scored 35, including the winning basket on a jump hook with 17 seconds left.

Ricky Rubio also had 22 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds for his third career triple-double for Minnesota, which is 5 1/2 games behind Dallas for the West's final playoff spot with 16 games remaining.

"It was a big game against a tough team who is fighting for the playoffs, too," Rubio said. "We want to try to catch up to them."

Houston could be primed for another excellent shooting performance. Even in the Timberwolves' last five wins, opponents are shooting 48.5 percent and their 44.5 percent field-goal defense in victories this season is the worst in the NBA.

The Rockets have won four of the last five meetings and were 28 of 58 from 3-point range while taking the first two matchups this season. Love totaled 58 points in those contests and has scored 25 or more in six of his last seven games versus Houston.

Last Updated: 5/27/2018 12:30:48 PM EST

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