Rockets explode for 22 three pointers against ‘Wolves
James Harden led a balanced scoring attack with 24 points as the Houston Rockets set a league record for three pointers with a 142-130 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.
Harden also had 10 assists and finished five of 11 from beyond the arc for the Rockets, who improved to 42-18.
Houston made 22 of 58 three pointers and it marked their eighth game this season with at least 20 treys, breaking the NBA mark set by the Golden State Warriors in the 2015-16 season.
“There’s nothing we can do. They just run down the court shooting the ball,” Minnesota forward Andrew Wiggins said. “You shoot 58 (three-pointers) and you’re bound to make 20 of them. They just put it up.”
Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon hit four three pointers each while posting 18 and 14 points, respectively.
Trevor Ariza added three three-pointers and Nene and Lou Williams came off the bench to tally 11 and 17 points. Eight Rockets scored in double figures.
That collective effort offset a dominating performance from center Karl-Anthony Towns (37 points, 22 rebounds) and Canadian Wiggins (30 points).
Minnesota dropped to 23-36 on the season and finished with a 58-31 rebounding advantage.
In Miami, the Heat continued its hot streak by taking advantage of Paul George’s ejection to beat the Indiana Pacers 113-95 at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Pacers all-star forward George was ejected after getting hit with his second technical foul with 8:49 left in the third period. He scored 10 points and grabbing one rebound in 19 minutes.
Miami won 16 of its past 18 games, getting a double-double from center Hassan Whiteside, who had 22 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.
The second technical, with 8:49 left in the third, took place when George, who thought he had been fouled while shooting a three-pointer, shouted at referee Gary Zielinski.
“He was a puppet,” George said of Zielinski. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra “was in his ear. He called it. It’s not like I said something derogatory to (Zielinski).
– ‘It’s a soft league’ –
“It’s a soft league. That easily could have been a warning.”
Spoelstra, asked for his view, seemed to regret that George was ejected.
“That was a verbal,” Spoelstra said of the second technical. “You don’t want players to miss at all. If he played (the whole game), it looked like it was going to be your typical Heat-Pacers game that goes down to the last possession.
“It was extremely physical — it always is between these two teams. It felt like a playoff-type game. (George) is an absolutely elite, great basketball player. That was unfortunate, that second T, for him.”
In Cleveland, Jimmy Butler had a triple-double and Dwyane Wade flirted with another in the Chicago Bull’s 117-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers who played without superstar LeBron James.
Butler scored 18 points to go with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Wade added 20 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds with a potential 10th board rebound snatched out of his hands by a teammate in the closing seconds.
The Bulls have won four straight and defeated Cleveland in all three games this season.
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