Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA: The Houston Rockets erupted for an NBA Playoffs franchise record 50 in the 3rd quarter and James Harden set a franchise record for most points scored in a Playoff quarter with 22 – en route to a final 119-100 win and a 3-1 series lead, at the Target center in Minneapolis, Monday night.
The Rockets’ 50 points in the 3rd were second most by a team in a quarter in the NBA Playoffs. Lakers scored 51 vs. Pistons in 4th quarter of Game 5 Western Finals.
The Houston Rockets came into Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs Western Conference First Round – at the Target Center- seeking a commanding 3-1 lead, while the Timberwolves looked to even the series 2-2.
It was a close one at the break 50-49 advantage Rockets, in a back and forth 1st half in which Harden had 12 points and Derrick Rose off the bench had 11 points , 4 rebounds, and 2 assists to help fuel the Timberwolves.
Harden was less than impressive in the first half, settling for long threes and unable to convert when he sliced to the basket. After starting 0-for-7 and making just 4 of 14 from the field in the first 24 minutes of the game, he caught fire in the third with 16 points in the first five-plus minutes, finishing with a game-high 36.
Number one seeded Houston Rockets began the 3rd quarter with a James Harden led 13-2 sprint.
The Beard Rockets his way to 22 in the 3rd as Houston scores 50. The 3rd quater ends Rockets 100, Timberwolves 69. Minnesota’s one-point deficit after half, ballooned to 31 when the third quarter horn sounded
The 4th quarter ends 119-100 in Houston win.
James Harden led the Rockets and all scorers with 36 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST, 4 STL while Chris Paul had 25 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST, 5 STL. James Harden and Chris Paul combined for 61 PTS, 10 REB, 9 AST, and 9 STL in the rout.
The Rockets connected on 37.2 percent (16-of-43) of their 3s and 88.5 percent (23-of-26) of their foul shots, outscoring the Timberwolves 69-51 during the second half.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota scoring in the losing effort with 22 PTS, 15 REB.
The series returns to the Toyota Center in Houston for Game 5 on Wednesday and Mike D’Antoni’s team will be looking to close this one out.