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1/1/2001 - Minnesota Star-Tribune
Wolves beat Rockets 106-96
1/1/2001 - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Wolves show off muscles
12/31/2000 - Houston Chronicle
Rockets miss shots at victory
Misfire in Minnesota
Rockets open new year with 96-106 loss in Minnesota
By Clutch
JANUARY 1, 2001 5:03 PM  |  BOX SCORE  |  HISTORY VS. TIMBERWOLVES

Cat received heavy praise from both Rudy T and the Timberwolves after the game for his quick step and ability to score in bunches. 30 points in 34 minutes proved he can do just that
What gives with the Rockets sharpshooters? After going on a tear, Bullard (1-5) has missed 16 of his last 21 shots, including just 3-17 from three-point range, in his last 7 games while we don't need to talk about Walt's slump, which spanned the whole month of December
You've just got to hit your shots.

The Rockets shot just 40% from the field and the Timberwolves, knocking down their shots at a 50% clip, ran off their 6th straight win over the Rocks with a 106-96 win in the Target Center.

The loss, the 7th in their last 8 games, drops the Rockets record to 14-16. They are #11 currently in the Western Conference.

Aside from the edge in shooting, the Timberwolves held big advantages in assists (35 to the Rockets 8) and rebounds (47 to the Rockets 36).

Cuttino Mobley however came out looking damn good. He scored 30 points, primarily because his quickness got him to the line an astounding 16 times (making 14 of those). Though Mobley generally doesn't provide too much else in the box score, he can score in huge bunches... the 30 points came in 34 minutes.

Said the Timberwolves Chauncey Billups of Mobley, "He's a great player. If you can get to the basket and make your shot like he does, you can (score 30+) in this league."

Problem is Billups had a damn fine game himself. Oh sure the "Usual Suspects" of Kevin Garnett (21 points, 9 boards, 7 assists) and Terrell Brandon (19 points, 8 assists, 5 boards, 3 steals) played well, but Billups scored 16 and handed out 9 dimes while Wally Szczerbiak went nuts for 19 points and 10 boards.

Those 4 had done enough damage.

Steve Francis had a frustrating fourth quarter... after picking up a cheap foul (his fourth) on a block of Garnett, he picked up his 5th a few minutes later then his 6th just 6 seconds after that. He finished with 20 points, but just 3 assists and 4 rebounds.

He wasn't too happy afterwards, telling the Houston Chronicle: "If I would have been in the game, we would have won the game, trust that."

The Rockets still played with heart -- they were without centers Hakeem Olajuwon and Kelvin Cato, and of course Jason Collier is still out. No real center whatsoever to stop the likes of Garnett (or heaven forbid Reggie Slater) from slipping in for easy shots. Rudy T started both Maurice Taylor and Kenny Thomas as a result, and again kept Walt Williams on the bench with Shandon Anderson starting at the three, Francis the 2 and Moochie Norris at the point.

The Rockets did well, outscoring the Wolves 29-25 after one, and led by as many as 8 points in the second quarter before the momentum completely shifted in the TPups' favor.

Both Thomas and Taylor had 12 points and 6 boards a piece. Walt continues to struggle, misfiring on 5 of his 6 shots (the one make being a three) for 3 points. Shandon had just 5 points and Moochie also had a bad game, scoring just 6 points and only 2 assists compared to 4 turnovers.

No rest at all for the Rockets though as they head to Cleveland to take on the Cavs Tuesday.


Clutch can be reached at clutch@clutchcity.net and also can be followed on Twitter



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