Wolves Come Up Just Short In Game 1 Vs. Rockets

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Julian Andrews
Web Editorial Associate

The Wolves fell 101-104 in a hard-fought matchup in the first game of their playoff series against the Houston Rockets. The Wolves had a chance to tie the game with 8.7 seconds left, but after advancing the ball all the way up the floor, a Jimmy Butler shot missed the mark, and the Rockets took Game 1 at home.

Minnesota was led by 18 points from Andrew Wiggins, who looked calm and confident in his first-ever playoff game. Butler and Derrick Rose were also excellent for the Wolves, and Jamal Crawford came off the bench for 15 points, including three three-pointers. Jeff Teague had a near triple-double, scoring 15 points with nine rebounds and eight assists.

The Wolves were paced in the first half by strong play from Butler, Rose and Wiggins. The trio carried Minnesota’s offensive load and allowed the defense to do its job. The Wolves held the Rockets to 42.9 percent shooting in the half, but still trailed 54-47.

Wiggins came out strong in the second half, quickly scoring on a driving layup and-one, and a three-pointer. Overall the Wolves shot the three well in the third quarter, hitting four of them in the period. Rose also continued his excellent play, and the Wolves outscored the Rockets 25-22 in the quarter, cutting their deficit to four heading into the final period.

The Wolves looked good to start the fourth, but unfortunately, the Rockets proved down the stretch why they hold the overall No. 1 seed in this year’s playoffs. James Harden went ballistic, scoring 44 points by the end of the game, and the Wolves just didn’t have quite enough to keep up. Minnesota made a run towards the end of the game, pulling within three with 8.7 seconds left, but a contested Butler shot came up short. 

Despite the loss, the Wolves can take a lot of positives away from tonight. They held the Rockets to 27-percent shooting from three and outrebounded and out-assisted Houston. In a series that many expected to be a blowout, the game was still in question in the final seconds. The Wolves played the Rockets shot-for-shot in this game, and while the loss hurts, Minnesota should feel good about their ability to make some adjustments and put together another good performance in Game 2 on Wednesday.

We’ll be updating you on some highlights from tonight’s game shortly, and we’ll have a lot of content coming your way before Wednesday. Keep your heads up, Wolves fans, your team did you proud tonight.