Rockets bounce back, rip Timberwolves

Kevin Porter Jr. Rockets

FILE – Kevin Porter Jr. #3 of the Houston Rockets looks on during the third quarter of a game against the Golden State Warriors at the Toyota Center on March 17, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Carmen Mandato / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Kelly Olynyk contributed 16 points in the first game for his new team and six teammates also scored in double figures as the Houston Rockets avenged a loss from 24 hours earlier with a 129-107 shellacking of the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis on Saturday night.

Minnesota had won the first half of the back-to-back sequence 107-101, scoring the game’s last 22 points. Houston had led by as many as 19 points.


The Rockets built an even bigger lead by halftime in the rematch, going up 74-48, and never lifted the foot off the gas pedal the second time around.

Olynyk, acquired at the trade deadline with Avery Bradley in exchange for Victor Oladipo, hit five of his eight shots, including going 4-for-6 from 3-point range, in his introduction to his new team.

Bradley sat out Saturday’s game with a calf injury.

Kevin Porter Jr., acquired earlier this season from Cleveland, paced the Rockets with 25 points.

D.J. Augustin (20 points), Sterling Brown (16), John Wall (13), Ben McLemore (12) and Jae’Sean Tate (10) also scored in double figures for Houston, which snapped a two-game losing streak and won for just the second time in its last 24 games.

Wall completed a double-double with a game-high 12 assists.


The Rockets outshot the Timberwolves 54.3 percent to 42.4 percent and outscored the hosts 54-39 on 3-pointers. Brown tied Olynyk for game-high 3-pointer honors with four.

Houston, which hurt itself with 19 turnovers on Friday, had only 12 giveaways in the rematch.

Karl-Anthony Towns put up 27 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who could have caught Houston and Detroit for fewest wins in the league with a victory.

Anthony Edwards matched Towns’ total with 27 points for Minnesota, while Jaden McDaniels had 14 and Malik Beasley, coming off suspension, had 13.

Ricky Rubio finished with a team-high 10 assists to go with four points.

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