Alperen Sengun's strong double-double not enough to overcome Timberwolves

2022-04-04 02:05
Credit: AP - Scanpix

Anthony Edwards recorded his first 30-point game in seven weeks, and Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell combined for 50 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves (45-34) claimed a 139-132 (42-32, 38-36, 36-24, 23-40) road win over the Houston Rockets (20-59) on Sunday night, completing the season series sweep.

Edwards finished with 33 points on 12-for-21 shooting from the field while Towns notched his 38th double-double with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Russell had 22 points and nine assists, marking the ninth time this season that he, Edwards, and Towns had 20-plus points in the same game.

Leading 80-68 at intermission behind Edwards' 23 first-half points, the Timberwolves (45-34) delivered the decisive blow with a 15-2 run in the third quarter that stretched their lead to 106-80. Edwards and Russell posted 3-pointers during the surge, with Towns and Jarred Vanderbilt -- a Houston native celebrating his 23rd birthday -- added dunks that fueled the rally.

Minnesota led by as many as 27 points entering the fourth quarter while shooting 66.2 percent from the floor and knocking down 15 of 31 3-pointers through three periods.

Jalen Green and Josh Christopher scored 31 and 30 points, respectively, for the Rockets (20-59), who dropped each game of their four-game homestand. Houston lost the previous three games by a combined 11 points. Alperen Sengun notched a double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds.

For Green, it marked his fourth consecutive 30-point game and sixth overall this season.

In the fourth quarter, Christopher keyed a 13-2 run that pulled the Rockets to within eight with 1:48 left.

In Minnesota's 42-point first quarter, Edwards and Towns combined for 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field. Minnesota shot 18 of 25 in the breakout frame, including 5 of 10 from behind the arc, and kept rolling offensively in the second quarter, fueled by the Rockets' wayward ballhandling.

Following Russell and Edwards hitting back-to-back 3-pointers, the Timberwolves led 65-48. Edwards, after turning his right ankle, closed the half with a pair of free throws and a thunderous dunk as Minnesota converted 13 Houston turnovers into 26 points before the intermission.

Edwards eclipsed 30 points for the first time since his 37-point effort at Indiana on Feb. 13.

Rockets Jalen Green 31 (8/10 2PT, 4/8 3PT, 5 AST), Josh Christopher 30 (8/9 2PT, 3/5 3PT, 5/7 FT), Kevin Porter 21 (4/10 3PT, 5/5 FT, 6 REB, 8 AST, 8 TO), Alperen Sengun 14 (5/6 2PT, 15 REB, 4 AST, 5 TO), Kenyon Martin 11 (2/2 3PT, 2 BLK).

T'wolves: Anthony Edwards 33 (8/9 2PT, 4/12 3PT, 5/5 FT, 5 AST), Karl-Anthony Towns 28 (11/13 2PT, 11 REB, 5 AST), D'Angelo Russell 22 (4/11 3PT, 9 AST, 4 STL, 5 TO), Malik Beasley 12 (3/7 3PT, 4 AST), Josh Okogie 11 (5/6 FT), Jaylen Nowell 10 (2/3 3PT, 4 AST).

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