What a difference 24 hours, hitting the road and losing Steve Francis makes.
The Rockets had their 3-game winning streak snapped Friday night in Minnesota as Kevin Garnett's 23 points, 18 boards and 9 assists pushed the Wolves to the 102-85 rout over the Rocks.
The loss drops the Rockets' record to 19-28.
Not much good to talk about here. The Rockets shot 29% in the first half compared to the Wolves' 58%. Bench scoring in the first half? 19-2 in favor of Minnesota.
Bryce Drew, starting in place of the injured Francis, scored 20 points and put up that many shots as well (20), hitting 9. Playing Ironman minutes (45), he also handed out 10 assists.
He's no Francis, but Drew played well enough in the starting role (and has all 4 times he has started this season) to possibly draw even more interest from around the league from those teams looking for a point guard. Not that he is being showcased, just that he is putting up decent numbers when he gets the minutes.
Also playing well was Hakeem Olajuwon. Dream was 0-4 from the field in the first half.
In the second half he was a changed man. He hit 7-8 shots from the field and finished with 15 points and 8 boards in just 24 minutes off the bench. He also moved into 12th place All-Time on the NBA career rebounding list.
Starting at center was Kelvin Cato, who hit 5-10 shots for 15 points, 9 boards and 3 blocks.
Walt Williams added 14 points and 5 assists.
How about the shooting guards. Shandon Anderson and Cuttino Mobley combined to shoot 2-17 from the floor for 10 points total.
Overall the Rockets shot 38% to the Wolves' 56.3%, were outrebounded 47-36 and were outassisted 36-19.
It got ugly pretty quick. In the middle of the second the Rockets were down already by 19 points.
It was 41-22, but the Rockets went on a 9-0 run (5 points by the Wizard) to cut the Wolves lead to 10. But Minnesota responded, going on a 9-2 run from there to open the lead back up to 17.
It was 52-35 at the half.
Drew led the team with 12. Dream, Shandon and Mobley were a combined 0-11.
Drew scored 4 more points early in the third and after a Shandon bucket, it was 58-44 Wolves. After a Bullard three, Minnesota called a timeout leading 60-49.
However that was as close as the Rockets would get in that quarter. With about 40+ seconds to go in the third the TWolves had increased their lead to 20 points. A Kenny Thomas three would cut it to 17, 78-61, just before the third expired.
The fourth quarter was simply trivial.