Andrew Wiggins scored a team high 28 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves snapped the Houston Rockets nine-game winning streak Wednesday with a 119-105 NBA victory at the Target Center arena.
Karl-Anthony Towns tallied 23 points and 18 rebounds to post his ninth consecutive double-double and Ricky Rubio had 10 points and tied his career high with 17 assists in the Timberwolves’ second straight win.
“I’m not going to joke with you,” said Canadian Wiggins. “When we got to the fourth quarter with that kind of lead, you can’t let it slide.
“We did a great job of just making sure we kept the lead and stayed disciplined, and did what we needed to do.”
Brandon Rush had 12 points on four three-pointers in his first start for Minnesota and Shabazz Muhammad came off the bench to score 20 points.
“Tonight we learned a lesson and we kept attacking, especially running back on defense,” said Rubio. The Timberwolves were without third-leading scorer Zach LaVine.
James Harden had 33 points, six rebounds and 12 assists for Houston, which had its league-best winning streak halted. Ryan Anderson added 18 points, but the Rockets shot 41 % from the floor and 15 of 42 on three-pointers.
“We missed a lot of uncharacteristic shots,” Anderson said. “We normally get stops and it fuels our offense on the other side. But they did a great job of being aggressive on us. We didn’t play our game.”
Elsewhere, Russell Westbrook earned his 18th triple-double to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 103-95 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“I just read the game,” Westbrook said. “You have to read it. Makes plays and take what the defense gives you.”
Westbrook tallied 24 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. The 18 triple-doubles is the most by any player since Magic Johnson during the 1981-82 season.
Enes Kanter finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Victor Oladipo added 16 points as the Thunder improved to 24-16.
“That was our main focus coming,” Thunder centre Steven Adams said. “Memphis is known to be physical so we just tried to match that and take it to another level.”
Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 22 points and six assists while Chandler Parsons and Zach Randolph each scored 14 points.
In Portland, Oregon, CJ McCollum scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half, and Allen Crabbe scored 24 points off the bench as the Portland Trail Blazers crushed the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-86 at Moda Center.
McCollum hit the 25-point barrier for the seventh consecutive game, and Crabbe was nine of 11 from the field as the Trail Blazers won a second straight game for the first time since early December.
LeBron James collected 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Kevin Love had 17 points and eight boards for the Cavaliers, who lost for the second straight time and are 2-2 on their six-game road trip.
In Los Angeles, J.J. Redick scored 22 points and the Los Angeles Clippers won their fifth in a row with a 105-96 victory over the Orlando Magic.
LA CLIPPERS 105 Orlando 96
PORTLAND 102 Cleveland 86
OKLAHOMA CITY 103 Memphis 95
MINNESOTA 119 Houston 105
BOSTON 117 Washington 108
PHILADELPHIA 98 NY Knicks 97
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles past Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) during the second quarter at Target Center in Minneapolis yesterday. Picture: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports