Even without Harden, Rockets overpower Wolves

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 24, 2013 - 12:24 AM

Aaron Brooks scored a season-high 26 points to pick up the slack for the injured James Harden.

– Timberwolves shooting guard Kevin Martin is a 10-year veteran, long enough to know the ways of the NBA and long enough to be prescient about his team’s 112-101 loss at Houston on Saturday night.

The Wolves seemingly had two factors going for themselves when they arrived at Toyota Center: Coach Rick Adelman rested all five starters the entire fourth quarter in Friday’s home thumping of Brooklyn before the team flew late that night to Houston to play its fourth game in five nights. And Rockets star guard James Harden was scratched from Saturday’s game because of a bothersome sore foot.

Before the game, Martin said Harden’s absence simply creates “more shots to go ’round for everyone else” on the Rockets, a clairvoyant call even if he didn’t specify Rockets veteran Aaron Brooks by name.

Brooks didn’t play at all in Wednesday’s loss at Dallas, but when needed on Saturday he scored 26 points off the bench in less than 25 minutes, thanks to a 6-for-7 three-point shooting performance. The Rockets attempted 31 threes and made 17.

“Yep, that’s how it works,” Martin said afterward, referring to those NBA ways. “I played with him for a year and that’s what he does.”

The Wolves forced 24 turnovers and committed only 10. By third quarter’s end, they had scored 32 points off Houston turnovers — already the most by anybody in an entire NBA game this season — and outscored the Rockets 37-15 in that category before the night was through.

And none of those advantages mattered a bit because Brooks and the Rockets fired — and made — three-pointers from any and all directions, 54.8 percent for the night. The Wolves, meanwhile, received another 27-point, 15-rebound double-double night from Kevin Love and an active 22-point game from Corey Brewer but little else.

“You can look at stats all you want,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. “Threes, that’s where the game was. They just made every three they shot, seemed like.”

With Harden out, Houston coach Kevin McHale inserted Jeremy Lin into the starting lineup beside Pat Beverley in a new two-point-guard lineup that created playing time for Brooks off the bench.

The Wolves trailed 14-2 before the game was four minutes old and never led. They pulled within a point in the first quarter’s final five minutes, but trailed by 13 points at halftime and never got any closer than eight points again.

“We didn’t have enough tonight,” Adelman said. “We could never get close enough or get any kind of rhythm in the game.”

Adelman watched Brooks play college ball at Oregon in the 2006-07 season, when he was in between coaching jobs with Sacramento and Houston. That informal scouting work contributed to the Rockets selecting Brooks 26th overall in the 2007 draft. He played three-plus seasons for Adelman before the Rockets traded Brooks to Phoenix and fired Adelman within two months of each other in 2011.

“Well, I coached him,” Adelman said. “I’ve seen him do that a lot. It didn’t surprise me.”

Brooks hadn’t scored that many points, though, since a 28-point game for the Rockets against Utah against Utah in April 2010, when he still played for Adelman.

“Not really,” Brooks said when asked if Saturday seemed like old times. “It felt like something new. It has been so long ago, I had forgotten what it felt like.”

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Houston 112, Wolves 101

    Saturday November 23, 2013

  • Love laments latest blow to Rose

    Saturday November 23, 2013

    HOUSTON – Timberwolves star Kevin Love offered his reaction to 848,000 Twitter followers, then said it again before Saturday night’s...

  • Video: Wolves Daily: Buried by three-pointers

    Monday November 25, 2013

    Rockets make 17 three-pointers -- six of 'em by Aaron Brooks (remember him?) -- on night when Houston star...

  • Wolves-Houston game recap

    Saturday November 23, 2013

    GAME RECAPImpact playerAaron Brooks, RocketsThe little point guard turned back the clock with a 26-point game. He hadn’t scored that...

  • A show of hands: Wolves center Nikola Pekovic and guard Ricky Rubio teamed up to block out Houston’s Dwight Howard, rear, and Aaron Brooks.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which local team are you currently most excited about?

Weekly Question