Timberwolves miss an opportunity in Game 1 loss to Houston

James Harden worries about getting food stuck in his beard on dates so he prefers to only eat in front of those he’s comfortable around

Harden scored 13 fourth-quarter points, including 10 straight to give the Rockets a 99-91 lead with just more than three minutes to play.

Every time the Rockets pulled away, the Timberwolves found a way back into the game, getting to within three points in crunch time. In total, he tallied 24 points and 12 boards, dominating the center matchup against Karl-Anthony Towns, who finished with just eight points to go with 12 rebounds.

That being said, they have the toughest first round matchup in the National Basketball Association playoffs and the odds of them beating Houston four times in seven chances aren't great.

Houston Rockets begin their best of seven series playoff campaign against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday with the Western Conference top seeds favorite to progress to the semi-finals. The Rockets finished with a league-best record of 65-17.

Rockets: Ryan Anderson missed the game with a sprained left ankle.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves look to build on their momentum after winning five of their last seven games to clinch a playoff spot on Wednesday. Minnesota got monster minutes from Derrick Rose.

Houston average 122 points per game against the T-wolves, with an average margin of victory of 15 points. Towns had 12 rebounds and two assists.

Jeff Teague ended Minnesota's scoring drought with two free throws after the timeout and added a 3-point play after a basket by Harden. In this picture, Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets dribbles the ball against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., December 29, 2017.

There's really no "key to the game" against a team like the Rockets. Butler suffered a torn meniscus against the Rockets February 23: he underwent surgery on the 25 and returned April 6 against the Lakers. Houston is 1 in the league with 15.3 threes a night while the team is tied for 13 by shooting 36.2 percent from long range this season. Eric Gordon is the third double-digit scorer and Clint Capela is grabbing 10.8 rebounds. While it's fair to say that the Rockets had most teams' numbers this season, the fact remains that it's hard to argue with a sweep.

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