GAME 4 PREVIEW
7 p.m. vs. Houston • Target Center • FSN/TNT (102.9-FM)
Offensive records raise confidence
Preview: The Timberwolves set all kinds of offensive records while winning their first playoff game since 2004 Saturday night. Their 35-point third quarter and 34-point fourth quarter were their top two quarters in playoff history, as was their 15 made three-pointers and 121 total points. Now they will try to even the best-of-seven series at two games each before heading back to Houston for Game 5 Wednesday.
Players to watch: Wolves G Jimmy Butler shook off a twisted ankle to score 28 points on 10-for-19 shooting, with seven rebounds and five assists. G Jeff Teague scored nine of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, including six in a 9-0 that put the Wolves in control for good. After two low-scoring games, C Karl-Anthony Towns scored 18 points with 16 rebounds. Rockets G James Harden had 44 points in Game 1, but has gone 11-for-39 overall and 4-for-18 on threes in the last two games. G Chris Paul has averaged 19.3 points and 6.1 assists in the series.
Numbers: Saturday, Houston got 46 points from starting backcourt players Paul and Harden, but just 17 points from the other three starters. The Wolves are 18-32 all time in the playoffs, 13-11 at Target Center. The Wolves rank No. 8 among 16 playoff teams in defensive rating (104.7), after finishing 22nd in the regular season (108.4).
Injuries: Wolves C Justin Patton (foot surgery) is out. Rockets F Luc Mbah a Moute (shoulder) is out.