MINNEAPOLIS — The Houston Rockets are doing their part. Now if only Utah and Dallas would help them out.
The Rockets, playing for their playoff lives, beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 129-105 on Monday night. The victory keeps the Rockets in play for a postseason berth but they remained a game behind eighth-seeded Utah as they boarded a private jet to Houston. Utah started playing Dallas on Monday night, an hour after the start of Rockets-Wolves.
If Utah losses, the Rockets move into a tie for the eighth seed with a game to play. If the Jazz win, the deficit remains a game and we’ll have to worry about this again Wednesday night.
Wednesday could be a night of last times:
Utah visits the Los Angeles Lakers in Kobe Bryant‘s last game of his career and Sacramento visits the Rockets in what could be Dwight Howard‘s last game in a Rockets uniform. DeMarcus Cousins isn’t playing for the Kings on Wednesday, and coming into Monday’s contests, the Kings are 3-12 when he doesn’t play.
If Utah and Houston finish the regular season tied, the Rockets win the tiebreaker.
Houston’s victory ended the Wolves impressive three-game win streak, which included victories over Golden State and Portland.
You would have never guessed their recent success by the way the Wolves played. They shot 45.8 percent from the field and 23.8 percent from 3, trailed by as much as 23 in the first half and couldn’t contain Howard or James Harden.
Harden finished with 34 points in 32 minutes, sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
Howard, a forgotten man in this offense who could leave this summer in free agency, attempted 11 shots, the first time he reached double-figures in attempts since March 12 at Charlotte.
Howard was able to get pocket passes from Patrick Beverley and Harden and score on putbacks. Howard finished with 19 points and eight rebounds.