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T'Wolves earn rare win in Houston

Jan 31, 2012 - 4:49 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Michael Beasley scored 34 points on just 14 shots and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Houston Rockets for only the second time in 17 games, 120-108, Monday night.

"If we weren't fouling him," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said, "he was making a shot."

The same could be said for more than just Beasley on a night when Minnesota shot better than 58 percent and set a franchise record with 42 points in the third quarter.

Kevin Love added 29 points. He was kept from another double-double, grabbing just seven rebounds, but Ricky Rubio picked up the slack with 18 points and 11 assists for the ninth double-double of his rookie season.

Rubio had 12 of his points in the third quarter, which the Timberwolves began in a 56-54 hole and ended with a commanding 96-81 lead. They shot 62.5 percent in the quarter, leaving McHale looking for any rhythm on defense against the team he used to coach.

"(Rubio) really got us going and was making all the right plays. He made plays, hit his shots and got us in up-tempo where we can be the best," Love said.

Kevin Martin tried to keep the Rockets in it, pouring in 29 points seven days after he scored 31 in a 107-92 win over Minnesota last Monday -- Houston's 15th victory in the last 16 meetings in the series.

This time, the Timberwolves were able to pull off a rare win -- their third such victory this month.

"It felt like one of those games where we were stuck in the mud," McHale said.

"We never found anything defensively. We never found a rhythm. ... Give credit to them. We never found a way to slow Beasley down."

Last week, they beat the San Antonio Spurs for the second time in January after losing the previous 16 games in the series.

Rubio started the third quarter with a three-pointer but the game remained close until a 12-4 run pushed Minnesota's lead from seven points to 15 entering the fourth, 96-81.

The Rockets were never closer than 10 points in the final quarter and that only came in the last couple of minutes.

Earlier, Beasley scored 15 points and the Timberwolves shot nearly 57 percent in the first half, but still trailed 56-54 at the break. Martin had 10 points in the half for Houston, which shot better than 54 percent and had the lead at intermission after trailing 26-24 through one quarter.

Game Notes

The Rockets shot 47.1 percent and finished 2-2 on a four-game homestand. They lost for only the second time in their last 11 games...The reverse has also been true for the Timberwolves recently. They were coming off their 16th straight loss to the Lakers on Sunday.