Paul, Green help Rockets rout Timberwolves 102-82 in Game 2

Paul, Green help Rockets rout Timberwolves 102-82 in Game 2

Andrew Cummings
April 20, 2018

Houston has a commanding 2-0 lead over Minnesota as they head to Target Center for Game 3 on Saturday night.

The Timberwolves had scored seven straight points later in the third when Green, the hometown player who was signed off the street in December, hit his fifth 3-pointer to leave the Rockets up 74-53 with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the quarter.

Houston, who finished the regular season with the second-best offensive rating in basketball, shot a season-low 20 percent from the field in the opening quarter of Game 2, and were down by as many as nine points early on in the contest. Karl-Anthony Towns was held to five points and has scored single-digits in his first two career playoff games.

Paul, who joined the Rockets in an offseason trade from the Clippers, finished with eight assists and three steals.

Houston was up by 22 points with about nine minutes left when Paul made two quick baskets to make it 91-65.

The Rockets were up by 15 at halftime and opened the second half with a 10-2 run to make it 65-42 with about nine minutes left in the third.

So far in the playoffs, the Timberwolves sit second-to-last in 3-pointers made and attempted, and their 3-point percentage has them sitting 13th.

While Minnesota finished the regular season averaging the eighth-highest point total in the National Basketball Association despite their lack of 3-pointers, some might reason that threes don't need to be a part of the Wolves' offensive attack. Towns had just five points on 2-of-9 shooting, though he was able to finish with a team-high 10 rebounds.

While some would argue that having a better 3-point percentage means the Wolves are taking smarter shots, the Rockets have outscored Minnesota by a 206-183 margin through two games, and manage to have the exact same field goal percentage as the Timberwolves despite their 3-pointers falling less consistently. Before the game, the Rockets observed a moment of silence for Barbara Bush, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 92. They completed 16-of-52 attempts from downtown, and the process of quantity in shots was the difference. It gave them a 15-point cushion at halftime and they added seven points to that differential heading into the final 12 minutes. Also sitting courtside was rapper Lil' Wayne, who received a loud ovation when he was introduced on the Jumbotron in the fourth quarter. Despite his shooting struggles, he contributed in pretty much every other facet of the game - 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks.

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