|Luis Scola, PF 36 MIN | 10-18 FG | 4-4 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 24 PTS | -7Scola! Where have you been all this season?!!! This was the first game in 13 that he scored more than 20. Maybe a size 15 to the face will be a sort of brutal wake up call?|
|Chandler Parsons, F 33 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | -8Parsons didn’t shoot well and again missed a pair of significant 4th quarter free throws, but he was still active in the passing lanes and on the boards.|
|Samuel Dalembert, C 20 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -9Where was the Bear tonight? Hibernating? Napping by a lake? Chasing squirrels? Kevin McHale might be the one to ask. In a game in which the Rockets were out-rebounded 48 to 37 and the team’s leading carom-grabber only played 20 minutes, this might very well have been a relevant question.|
|Kevin Martin, SG 31 MIN | 1-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 2 PTS | 0This was a miserable game for Kevin Martin. He had good looks and took them, but they just didn’t fall. You’ll get ‘em next time, my skinny, weird-leaning friend.|
|Kyle Lowry, PG 44 MIN | 8-16 FG | 7-8 FT | 2 REB | 11 AST | 24 PTS | -7In the second half of this one, Kyle began looking for his shot for the first time in what feels like months. A welcome sight, even in a loss.|
|Patrick Patterson, PF 26 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | +4Patterson was a significant bright spot on offense all night. In a game in which the Rockets shot 42% as a team, his buttery jumper was a welcome, if ultimately fruitless sight.|
Two Things We Saw
- The Rockets looked listless, at times even afraid of the ball on offense, for the entire first half and half of the third quarter when, inexplicably, Kevin Love stepped on Scola’s face. Luis was incensed, and his mouth looked even more swollen and misshapen than usual. I’m not sure if he or McHale said something to the rest of the team, but they immediately started forcing turnovers and hitting contested lay-ups, eventually cutting Minnesota’s lead to three late in the 4th before Pekovic learned how to hit free throws, Kevin Love drained a tough three and Kevin Martin continued to miss from everywhere. Someone had to win this game. As it turned out it was the Wolves.
- Minnesota shot 58% in the first half but only 21% in the second half. The Wolves didn’t score for the first five minutes of the 4th quarter, but finished the period with 19. It seems somewhat dubious to attribute this kind of wild inconsistency to the Rockets’ defense, but watching the game it seemed that Houston’s defensive effort was as mercurial as Minnesota’s offensive focus.