How do Rockets match up against Timberwolves?

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Rarely can you call Game 1 of a seven-game series a "must win", but the way things unfolded Sunday night in Houston, the Timberwolves had to win Game 1.

Let's take a look at how the two teams will match up. Then again, this wasn't a normal season in the West with the Wolves winning 47 games at that spot.

This is Towns' first time playing in the playoffs so he'll have to get used to a more intense game and playing on a bigger stage than he's ever seen. When the Timberwolves took an 86-85 lead with 6:49 left in the fourth, Harden scored 11-straight points with a series of dizzying step-back threes that the Timberwolves could do nothing to stop.

Houston had Minnesota's number in the regular season, sweeping all four meetings. Veteran Chris Paul is still an offensive factor even at the age of 32. In Clint Capela, they have the player with the best field goal percentage in the regular season and one who averages almost 2 blocks a game. He's a great playmaker and makes everyone around him better. The Rockets are sixth in defensive rating. Trevor Ariza and P.J. Luc Mbah a Moute (shoulder) is out.


Rockets: Ryan Anderson missed the game with a sprained left ankle. They have two elite playmakers in Chris Paul and James Harden. The Wolves will have to prevent the Rockets from getting in a groove from downtown.

If the Timberwolves are going to upset the Rockets, they will likely need a big series from Butler.

While the Rockets fire three pointers from every position on the court, Minnesota counters with center Karl-Anthony Towns and All-Star guard Jimmy Butler. The Houston Rockets have lost just two home games since Christmas. Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford have played in a combined 234 playoff games.

The Rockets are above average offensively: they are 2 in the league with 112.4 points per game. The Minnesota Timberwolves are averaging 109.5 points on 47.6 percent shooting and allowing 107.3 points on 47.5 percent shooting. The winners will come up against one of Oklohoma City Thunder or the Utah Jazz in the semi-finals of the Western Conference.

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