Thursday’s NBA preview highlights the feature game between the Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves, along with NBA tips for all other matches being played today.
12:00 (AEDT), Thu 14th Feb @ Target Center, Minneapolis
History: Played 125: Rockets 83 V Timberwolves 42
Last meeting: December 3, 2018: Timberwolves 103 d Rockets 91 at Target Center
Final Thoughts: The Houston Rockets are looking to move ahead of a Western Conference logjam, while the Minnesota Timberwolves desperately need to bust out of their recent funk.
The 33-23 Rockets sit fifth in the West after a patchy January. But they have won four of their last five and bounced back from a loss to the Thunder with a 16-point victory over the Mavericks two days ago.
James Harden has top-scored for Houston with 30-plus points in their last 32 games. After an injury-hampered period, Chris Paul is back on the floor and has dished up 30 assists in his past three outings.
The 26-30 Timberwolves’ playoffs ship is sailing after losing six of their last eight games. A three-game roadstand garnered losses to the Grizzlies, Magic and Pelicans, but they did bounce back with a 130-120 home win over the Clippers to kick off the week.
Karl-Anthony Towns has been Minnesota’s talisman, averaging 23.1 points and 12.1 rebounds. Andrew Wiggins missed the Clippers clash through illness but should be back.
The Rockets have won 22 of their last 26 against the Timberwolves. They cruised to a 4-1 series win in last season’s Western Conference First Round.
But the T-Wolves have managed three wins in their last six at home against the Rockets.
After trailing by 14 points at halftime, Minnesota stormed back to win by 12 when they hosted Houston in December. Towns (24 pts, 11 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl) was an all-round stud in the comeback victory.
The Rockets are just 13-14 on the road but have won their last three away games. The T-Wolves are 18-10 at home but have only won four of their last eight at Target Center. The Rockets shape as the smart option, but expect a tight contest in Minneapolis.
|Brooklyn Nets V Cleveland Cavaliers||Handicap – Cavaliers +6.5 @ $1.87|
|Milwaukee Bucks V Indiana Pacers||Handicap – Bucks -3.5 @ $1.97|
|Philadelphia 76ers V New York Knicks||Handicap – Knicks +9 @ $1.93|
|Washington Wizards V Toronto Raptors||Total – Over 233 @ $1.90|
|Detroit Pistons V Boston Celtics||Total – Under 210.5 @ $1.85|
|Memphis Grizzlies V Chicago Bulls||Result – Bulls @ $1.70|
|Miami Heat V Dallas Mavericks||Result – Heat @ $2.22|
|Sacramento Kings V Denver Nuggets||Handicap – Nuggets -7.5 @ $1.87|
|Golden State Warriors V Portland Trail Blazers||Handicap – Warriors -4.5 @ $2.06|
|Phoenix Suns V LA Clippers||Total – Over 231.5 @ $1.88|