Timberwolves close game on remarkable 22-0 scoring run to secure improbable win over Rockets

The Houston Rockets finally got a win the other day, beating the Toronto Raptors to end a franchise-record 20-game losing streak. Unfortunately, that proved to be just a brief respite from the misery that’s enveloped the franchise. On Friday night, they reached a new low. 

With 7:31 to go in the fourth quarter of their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Rockets led 101-85, and seemed to be coasting to their second win in three games. And then, well, they just stopped scoring. Like, completely. The Timberwolves closed the game on a remarkable 22-0 run to win 107-101 

The run was the longest in Timberwolves franchise history, and gave them a win Karl Anthony-Towns felt they didn’t even deserve. 

“We didn’t deserve that one,” Towns said. “Don’t get it twisted.” 

Considering the Wolves shot just 37.9 percent from the field and needed a whole bunch of luck down the stretch, it’s hard to argue with him. 

But while they did have some things go their way — the Rockets missing open jumpers and layups, foul calls going their way — the Wolves do deserve credit for how they kept fighting and locked in on the defensive end down the stretch. As always with crazy comebacks, it’s not all luck.

Just look at how the Wolves were defending. Here’s the young rookie Jaden McDaniels completely stoning Christian Wood on the drive and forcing a miss. 

Later on Juancho Hernangomez stuck with John Wall on the switch, shut off his drive and forced a kick-out. Then McDaniels took over and played perfect defense to force a terrible 3-pointer. 

Even Towns — not known for his defensive work — got in on the act. This was one of the plays the Rockets wanted a foul on, but Towns played good solid defense the whole possession and earned the benefit of the doubt on the whistle. 

Down double digits in the fourth quarter, and already owning the worst record in the league, no one would have blamed the Wolves for packing it in and calling it a night. To be honest, at that point a lot of their fans probably would have preferred that option given the talent in the upcoming draft. Instead, the Wolves banded together to secure one of the most improbable wins of the season, and brought a little bit of joy to Minnesota’s beaten down fanbase. 

Unfortunately, they made things even worse for the poor fans down in Houston in the process. However, amid all the pain and chaos, there is one bit of good news for Rockets fans after that game: it’s hard to imagine things getting worse than giving up 22 unanswered points to lose to the only team in the league with a worse record. 

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