After matching their season high in points in their last outing, the Minnesota Timberwolves are looking for revenge against a Houston Rockets team that held them to one of their lowest totals of the season.
The Timberwolves turned a five-point halftime lead into a blowout, outscoring the Mavs 54-35 in the final two quarters en route to their ninth win in 11 games.
Minnesota opened a 4 1/2 -game lead over Dallas in the Midwest Division, and owns a four-game advantage over the second-place San Antonio Spurs.
Kevin Garnett had 28 points and 19 rebounds for Minnesota, which had Monday off after the poor performance against the Sixers. Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders ran an intense practice and film session on Tuesday.
“It was definitely a cleansing,” Garnett said. “We were totally embarrassed in Philly. Yesterday was a very heated practice and we got after it. That carried over to tonight.”
Guard Troy Hudson, who scored 22 points off the bench, said Tuesday’s film session was eye opening.
“We couldn’t believe it when we saw it on tape how slow we were moving,” Hudson said. “Tonight, we wanted to force the issue and exploit every scoring opportunity we had.”
Houston lost its second straight Wednesday, blowing a 15-point lead and falling 96-93 at home to the Los Angeles Lakers.
“It was our game pretty much to win,” Houston guard Steve Francis said. “Of course we wanted to win, but we just have to bounce back and look at the mistakes that we made.”
The Rockets held the Timberwolves to 76 points on 37 percent shooting in a victory Jan. 17, and Houston guard Cuttino Mobley knows Minnesota will be looking to avenge that loss.
“We have to go up to Minnesota, who just pulverized Dallas,” Mobley said. “We’ve got to go up to Minnesota, and they’re playing great, so you’ve got to let (Wednesday’s loss) go.”