Published: Thu, April 19, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

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

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

Despite a awful shooting display from James Harden, the Houston Rockets secured a routine 102-82 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves to take complete control of their first-round series.

That next game will take place on Saturday night as the series heads to Minnesota for game three.

James Harden had an incredible night in Game 1. Meanwhile, the Rockets got a huge bounce back game from Chris Paul, who scored 27 points on 10 of 18 shooting in Game 2, after he had only 14 points on 5-of-14 shooting in the opener.

Harden will need help at some point or another, and the team will have to step up. Minnesota made the playoffs as the eighth-seed in the Western Conference on the final night of the season, while the Rockets have a legitimate threat to represent the West in the NBA Finals, provided their shooting heats up. Without the role players stepping up, last season's problem will be repeated as too much of a load will be put on Harden's shoulders. Houston fell behind early, but went on top for good with a 37-point second quarter, powered by four 3-pointers from Green, and the Wolves didn't threaten again. Harden is the only one to do so in a victory. In Game 3, I'll shoot those same shots. Some of that can be explained through the missing of shots, while some can be attributed to misplaced passes, some surprisingly coming from Paul. He had been held to single digits only twice in his past 150 regular-season games.

Game 1 was close when it shouldn't have been.

Timberwolves: Justin Patton sat out with a sore left foot.

Heading into Game 2, the Timberwolves will feel confident that they can match it with the home side.

That feeling kept disappearing every time Harden was left in one on one situations.

Towns has a much more well-rounded game than his opponent but could only muster up 8 points from 9 shots compared to Capela's 24 on Sunday. One of Harden's steals in Game 2 came when he muscled Towns off the big man's preferred spot on the block to help cause a poor entry pass by Minnesota point guard Jeff Teague.

Towns, on the other hand, has said repeatedly during this series that his lack of field goal attempts is due to following the game plan.

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