NBA Game Recap - Minnesota at Houston
Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:00 PM EST

MIN
109
HOU
139
F
CHI
108
DET
99
F
NO
105
BOS
140
F
LAL
125
OKC
110
F
PHI
91
DAL
109
F
CLE
111
DEN
103
F
MIL
122
POR
101
F

Houston 139, Minnesota 109

Jan 11, 2020, 5:00 PM EST

Final

1

2

3

4

T

Minnesota (15-23)

20

21

35

33

109

Houston (26-12)

22

35

45

37

139

Harden passes 20,000 points, Rockets beat Wolves 139-109
Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:44 PM

HOUSTON (AP) James Harden didn't have much to say after he surpassed 20,000 points on Saturday in Houston's blowout win over Minnesota.

“It's a great accomplishment obviously," he said. “I have a bigger picture and bigger goals but it's pretty cool."

Teammate and longtime friend Russell Westbrook, who also played in the game when Harden got the first points of his NBA career, was much more effusive in his comments about the milestone.

“To be able to do that on a very, very high level is something we don't take for granted," Westbrook said. “Growing up in L.A. and being able to see him progress over the years to me is just a blessing to see as his friend and I'm truly happy for him.”

Harden scored 32 points in three quarters to help the Rockets roll to the 139-109 victory.

Houston led by double figures for most of the game and used a huge run in the third quarter to put the game out of reach and bounce back after a lopsided loss to Oklahoma City on Thursday night.

The 30-year-old Harden, who had 12 rebounds and eight assists, is the 45th player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points and the seventh-youngest. He entered the game 10 points away and reached the milestone in fitting fashion, on a step-back 3-pointer midway through the second quarter.

The public address announcer simply said 20,000 after Harden hit the shot, before a video was played during the next timeout to mark the occasion. The video showed him making his first points in the NBA while with the Thunder, then making a free throw that gave him 10,000 points and a replay of the 3 that got him to 20,000.

He got the game ball on Saturday and presented it to his mother.

“'She has everything,” Harden said. “Every goal and achievement that I have, she has it. I gave it to her and she'll put it in a safe place.”

Already without Clint Capela because of a bruised heel, the Rockets lost fellow starter P.J. Tucker early in the first quarter when he fell hard on his right shoulder. But Houston was just fine without them thanks to another big game from Harden and a 30-point performance by Westbrook.

Josh Okogie had 16 points off the bench for the Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns remained out with a left knee sprain that has had him sidelined since mid-December. The 30-point defeat was their largest loss of the season.

“We need to be better in terms of withstanding runs, especially against a good team," coach Ryan Saunders said. “You give them credit. They got us tonight."

The Rockets were up by 16 at halftime and 17 in the third quarter before scoring the next 16 points to push the lead to 89-56 with about 5 minutes left in the quarter.

Harden made two 3-pointers in that span and added another three points when he was fouled on a 3 and made all the free throws. The Timberwolves had three turnovers, including two from Andrew Wiggins, to help Houston pad the lead.

Minnesota cut the lead to 26 entering the fourth quarter, but the Rockets extended it to 115-82 with about 9 minutes left by opening the quarter with a 13-6 run.

Westbrook made a layup soon after that before stealing the ball on a bad pass by Jeff Teague and dishing it to Ben McLemore, who found Thabo Sefolosha for a 3 that made it 124-86. The Timberwolves called a timeout and all of Houston's starters except Isaiah Hartenstein went to the bench after that with about 8 minutes to go.

Hartenstein started in place of Capela and had 17 points and 15 rebounds. Eric Gordon added 17 points and tied a season high with five 3-pointers.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Towns missed his 13th straight game with his injury. ... F Jake Layman sat out for the 24th game in a row with a sprained left toe. ... Assistant coach Pablo Prigioni was ejected as the team walked off the floor at halftime after apparently saying something to the officials.

Rockets: Coach Mike D'Ántoni said Capela's injury isn't serious and they hope that he'll be OK with a few days rest. ... Tucker went to the locker room immediately after he was injured and didn't return. A team official said he had a stinger and D'Ántoni said after the game that he was OK and should return for the next game. ... Westbrook has scored 20 or more points in 14 straight games and he had 10 assists Saturday.

THEY SAID IT

Harden on the development of Hartenstein, who is in his second NBA season: “He did an unbelievable job defensively today and offensively he finished around the rim. He's going to continue to gain confidence."

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Host Oklahoma City on Monday night.

Rockets: Visit Memphis on Tuesday night.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Leaders

Minnesota PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
J. Okogie 16 -2 5 5 4 1
J. Culver 15 -9 5 8 0 0
Houston PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
P. Tucker 0 1 0 1 0 0
T. Chandler 0 -3 0 2 0 0

Team Comparison

MIN HOU
Points For 109 139
Field Goals 36/95-38% 49/95-52%
Three Pointers 13/48-27% 18/45-40%
Free Throws 24/36-67% 23/29-79%
Offensive Rebounds 13 12
Defensive Rebounds 31 46
Rebounds 58 65
Blocks 4 6
Steals 12 9
Turnovers 18 18
Points Scored Off Turnovers 26 22
Points in the Paint 46 58
Fast Break Points 11 15
Personal Fouls 18 24
Technical Fouls 0 0
Flagrant Fouls 0 0
Ejections 0 0

2019-2020 Regular Season - HOU Leads Series 2-0

Date Result Away Pts Ldr Home Pts Ldr
Sat Nov 16 HOU 125 @ MIN 105 K. Martin 2
Sat Jan 11 MIN 109 @ HOU 139 N. Vonleh 2 C. Clemons 2

Game Information

Stadium: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 18,055
Game Time: 2:10