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Houston Rockets Rally to Defeat Wolves in OT: Player Grades

Dec 17, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives to the basket past Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) in the first half at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives to the basket past Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) in the first half at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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Dec 17, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Houston Rockets guard
Dec 17, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Houston Rockets guard

The Houston Rockets trailed the Timberwolves by 12 with just over two minutes left in regulation. Not willing to quit, they stormed back to force overtime and eventually got their tenth win in a row.

. 111. 169. 109. 86

Minnesota looked like the better team for the majority of the night. They out-rebounded the Rockets, made a higher percentage of their shots, and controlled the game for the first 45 minutes. The night after the Houston Rockets set an NBA record for most made threes in a game, they stumbled out of the gate, making only 7 of their first 29 triples.

By the end of the third quarter, the Rox trailed by 14 and had allowed Karl-Anthony Towns to total 33 points and 10 boards. He ended up with 41 and 15, shooting better than 50% from the field.

Things did get better eventually for the Rockets, but it took until the final minutes of regulation. They closed the fourth quarter by making 5 of their last 6 threes while forcing significant stops. Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza hit two threes apiece in the final two minutes and change, allowing the Rockets to get an extra five minutes to seal the win in overtime.

Go to the next page for player grades from last night’s comeback victory.

Next: Starting Frontcourt Grades

Dec 17, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) back ups towards the basket as Houston Rockets forward Ryan Anderson (3) plays defense in the first half at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets’ frontcourt hit a combined four threes in the final two minutes to force overtime.

Houston Rockets. TREVOR ARIZA. B-. Ariza struggled for the majority of the night, shooting 3/11 from three and 4/16 overall. He was tasked with guarding <a rel=. SF

A. Last night’s was one of Anderson’s best contests in a Rockets uniform. He wasn’t a threat through much of the second and third quarters, but started and finished hot. He ended with 28 points on 9/19 shooting, including a blistering 7/16 from three. Not normally known as a defensive player, he also added 3 steals and a block to his stat line for the evening.. PF. Houston Rockets. RYAN ANDERSON

B. <a rel=. C. Houston Rockets. CLINT CAPELA

Next: Starting Backcourt Grades

Dec 17, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) fight for the ball in the second half at Target Center. The Rockets won 111-109 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Houston’s backcourt tandem put up stat lines that are exactly what you’d expect from them.

B. It seems ridiculous to withhold an A from a man who put up 28 points, 13 assists, and 9 rebounds. There are only a handful of players in the league who have the ability to post those kinds of numbers. <a rel=. PG. Houston Rockets. JAMES HARDEN

B+. <a rel=. SG. Houston Rockets. PATRICK BEVERLEY

Next: Best Bench Player/Best Opponent

Dec 17, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) points the the bench after making a three pointer in the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Rockets won 111-109 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Both the decisions on who to feature on this page were no-brainers. Gordon and Towns didn’t have any competition.

A-. Eric Gordon was the only player off Houston’s bench to score more than 4 points. The should-be Sixth Man of the Year totaled 20 points on 7/15 shooting, along with 4 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals. He’s also made more threes than anyone other than <a rel=. SG. Houston Rockets. ERIC GORDON

A. Towns is one of the best upcoming players in the league, and he played like it last night. He totaled 41 points and 15 boards on 15/28 shooting. For the vast majority of the night, the Rockets didn’t have an answer for him. He scored from all over the court, hitting from beyond the arc and bullying Capela in the restricted area.. C. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

The Rockets take on the the San Antonio Spurs next, but have two full days of rest before that happens. Houston and San Antonio are 1-1 on the season, so Tuesday’s game should be a good one to watch.

Next: James Harden's Case for MVP

Follow @SpaceCity_Scoop on Twitter for live updates during games and stay tuned here for more Rockets recaps, predictions, and analytics.

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