Michael Beasley's 34 points off the bench and a 42-point third quarter enabled the Wolves to cool off a previously red-hot Houston team.
Houston -- Michael Beasley joked afterward that he really had no choice.
It was there for him. Beasley, coming off the bench for the Timberwolves on Monday, already had shown that this was going to be one of those nights scorers have. Houston coach Kevin McHale had tried one thing after another, finally asking Courtney Lee to try to slow Beasley down.
"Good defender," Beasley said. "But — and no offense to Courtney Lee — he’s almost a foot shorter than me. It’s just common sense."
So Beasley attacked. He jumped, spun, leaned. And when the dust cleared at Toyota Center, Beasley had 34 points and led the Wolves to a 120-108 victory over a Rockets team that had won nine of its previous 10 games, including a 15-point victory in Minnesota a week earlier.
Talk about one of those nights.
With Beasley attacking and Ricky Rubio running the floor, the Wolves scored a franchise-record 42 third-quarter points. They used good defense and nearly flawless offense to turn a tight game into a relative breeze, winning for the first time this season when giving up 100 points.
"In the third quarter, we found the rhythm we want to play all year long," said Rubio, who had 18 points — 12 in the third quarter — along with 11 assists and eight rebounds. "We had, like, I don’t know how many points. But we find easy shots, and Beasley …"
Rubio stopped, as if he didn’t have the proper word. But you get the point. Beasley shot well, hitting 10 of 14 attempts, including 2-for-3 on three-pointers. But he also attacked the basket, getting to the line 12 times and making all 12, a personal record. And nothing seemed forced. His 34 points tied the franchise record for points by a reserve. But he wasn’t the only entry into the book Monday.
The Wolves won for the fifth time on the road, matching their total for each of the past two seasons. They recorded a season-high in points and shot a season-best 58.1 percent, including 62.5 percent (15-for-24) in the 42-point third quarter.
Kevin Love added 29 points and seven rebounds. Luke Ridnour had 11 points and five assists.
"Just a great win," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "Third quarter we were terrific, 42 points and our defense picked it up. It was just a solid win. It shows we can be a pretty darned good team if we played to the way we’re capable of."
Getting healthier by the game, the Wolves are taking steps. This was Beasley’s third game back after missing 11 because of a foot sprain. Shooting guard Martell Webster, playing in only his third game, played 22-plus minutes and helped kick-start the Wolves defense. The Wolves were down by two at halftime and led by two, 77-75, with 5:11 left in the third.
And then, whoosh.
Houston made two more baskets the rest of the quarter. The Wolves? They finished the quarter with a 19-6 run led by Beasley, who scored 11 of those points. The run included a three-pointer by Beasley, a drive by Love and a Rubio-to-Webster alley-oop slam. Beasley scored the final six points of that run on his own.
"We knew where our water was, so we kept going to it," Love said. "Bease was in a rhythm, we knew he was too big for the man trying to guard him, so we just continued to go there, and we felt like we could get a bucket whenever we wanted."
It sure seemed that way. Kevin Martin scored 29 points for Houston, which shot 54.8 percent in the first half but only 39.5 percent in the second. The Wolves, meanwhile, started hot and stayed that way. Thanks in large part to Beasley.
"I’ve been watching for a long time," Beasley said. "Watching for the spots I can get to to get good shots, just trying to transition myself into the offense. It was fun to finally contribute."
|Los Angeles - LP: H. Ryu||4||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - WP: H. Kuroda||6|
|Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman||13||FINAL|
|Detroit - LP: R. Porcello||3|
|Miami||0||Top 6th Inning|
|San Diego||1||Top 5th Inning|
|Los Angeles - C. Capuano||6:05 PM|
|NY Yankees - P. Hughes|
|Washington - G. Gonzalez||6:05 PM|
|Philadelphia - K. Kendrick|
|Kansas City - L. Mendoza||6:05 PM|
|Cleveland - J. Masterson|
|Colorado - J. Nicasio||6:07 PM|
|Toronto - M. Buehrle|
|NY Mets - S. Marcum||6:10 PM|
|Atlanta - K. Medlen|
|Pittsburgh - J. Locke||6:10 PM|
|Cincinnati - B. Arroyo|
|Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson||6:10 PM|
|Boston - R. Dempster|
|Oakland - T. Milone||7:05 PM|
|Texas - J. Grimm|
|Chicago WSox - C. Sale||7:10 PM|
|Minnesota - K. Correia|
|Milwaukee - K. Lohse||7:10 PM|
|Houston - E. Bedard|
|Chicago Cubs - E. Jackson||7:15 PM|
|St. Louis - J. Westbrook|
|Seattle - J. Saunders||9:05 PM|
|LA Angels - C. Wilson|
|Chivas USA||9:00 PM|
|Montreal||6/20/13 6:00 PM|
|Winnipeg||6/20/13 6:00 PM|
|Calgary||6/20/13 9:00 PM|
|Edmonton||6/21/13 9:00 PM|
|Montreal||6/27/13 8:00 PM|