Mike D'Antoni: Rockets Haven't Played Well 'in Months'


Jimmy Butler scored 28 points as the Timberwolves blasted the Rockets 121-105 in Game Three of their first round playoff series at the Target Center. It was the first playoff game in Minnesota since 2004, and the fans were erupting with passion. Do the Timberwolves have what it takes to even up the series at home? Wiggins is averaging 17 points on 53.3 percent shooting and Teague is averaging 15.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists.

A loss here would be quite surprising for the 65-win Rockets considering they haven't been beaten in back-to-back games since January 4 & Jan. 6. James Harden led Houston with 29 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the loss: he hit only nine of 21 from the floor. But the game was too close for comfort because no else on the Rockets came to play.

However, in Game 3, the Timberwolves flipped a switch, as the Rockets failed to, leading to a series changing outcome for Minnesota. The Wolves made only 13 3-pointers in Games 1 and 2 combined.

For the Rockets, it's a concerning loss in a series where they haven't looked great in their wins.

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Harden and co-star Chris Paul both emphasized that the primary reason for the Rockets' Game 3 loss was an uncharacteristically poor defensive performance.

Karl-Anthony Towns broke out of a slump with 18 points and added 16 rebounds.

Houston was on cruise control for much of the regular season, but they ran into a speed bump in game 3. Houston must play tougher defense in game 4 if they want to leave Minnesota with a 3-1 lead. Coach Mike D'Antoni stated that he felt that the team hadn't played up to its full potential since the middle of March. But if the Thunder know what's good for them, they'll do their best to ensure that they don't find themselves in the unenviable predicament of needing to becoming the 12th. 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.