Scouting Report | Wolves at Rockets

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate
Twitter

7 p.m., Toyota Center
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North Plus
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO

The Minnesota Timberwolves wrap up the 2016-17 season on Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center.

The Wolves come into the game with a record of 31-50 and are in 13th place in the Western Conference. The Rockets enter at 54-27 overall and are in third place in the Western Conference.

A few tidbits entering Wednesday’s game:

  • Wednesday night is the second night of a back-to-back for the Wolves.
  • The Rockets have wrapped up the No. 3 seed for the Western Conference playoffs and will play Oklahoma City in the first round. James Harden vs. Russell Westbrook should be fun to watch.
  • Houston holds a 2-1 season series advantage over Minnesota this season.

Coming Off Of…

Minnesota is coming off of a 100-98 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night in Minneapolis.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 12 rebounds and Gorgui Dieng had 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the Wolves. Andrew Wiggins had 18 points and four assists, Ricky Rubio had 14 points, 10 assists and four rebounds, Shabazz Muhammad had nine points and Omri Casspi had seven points, three rebounds and three steals.

Houston is coming off of a 125-96 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday in Los Angeles.

Eric Gordon had 17 points and five rebounds and James Harden had 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Rockets. Motrezl Harrell, Bobby Brown and Troy Williams each had 15 points off the bench and Ryan Anderson finished with 12 points.

Last Matchup

The last matchup between Houston and Minnesota came on Feb. 25 in Houston, where the Rockets came away with the 142-130 win.

In that game, Towns had 37 points and 22 rebounds and Wiggins had 30 points and three steals to lead the way for the Wolves. Dieng had 16 points, 13 rebounds and four steals, Rubio had 14 points and 11 assists, Muhammad had 11 points and three rebounds and Nemanja Bjelica had 10 points off the bench.

For Houston, Harden had 24 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, Anderson had 18 points, Lou Williams had 17 points and four assists, Clint Capela had 16 points and nine rebounds, Trevor Ariza and Patrick Beverley had 15 points each and Gordon added 14 points off the bench.

Key Matchup: Andrew Wiggins vs. James Harden

In the last few games between the Wolves and the Rockets, Wiggins and Harden have been matched up against each other, making for a key matchup once again on Wednesday night.

Wiggins is having a career year in his third NBA season, averaging 23.6 points, four rebounds, 2.3 assists and one steal per game at the age of 22.

Harden, a five-time All-Star in his eight NBA season, is averaging 29.1 points, 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds this season, making a strong case for the league’s MVP award this year.

Injuries

Houston: Beverley (shoulder) and Nene (hand) are questionable. Sam Dekker (hand) is out.

Minnesota: Bjeclia (foot), Zach LaVine (knee) and Nikola Pekovic (ankle) are out.

Projected Starters

Houston: PG – Gordon, SG – Harden, SF – Ariza, PF – Anderson, C – Onuaku

Minnesota: PG – Rubio, SG – Rush, SF – Wiggins, PF – Dieng, C – Towns 

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