HOUSTON, Jan. 31 (Ticker) -- The Houston Rockets hope this one will provide the spark they have been looking for the past two weeks.

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Steve Francis scored 27 points and rookie Yao Ming added 24 as the hot-shooting Rockets cruised to a 121-101 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Houston recorded season highs in points and shooting percentage as it won for just the second time in seven games since beating the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime two weeks ago.

"We talked about putting two halves together," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "We've been miserable (losing five of the last six). We kept our poise."

The Rockets shot 58 percent (50-of-86) from the field. The trio of Francis (12-of-15), Yao (8-of-12) and Cuttino Mobley (8-of-14) were nearly unstoppable, combining to make 28-of-41 shots. Mobley scored 22 points.

"We did a good job of what we've been trying to do for a while, moving the ball finding the open guy," Francis said. "We know how much this game meant to us."

The Rockets were unselfish throughout, assisting on 60 percent of their baskets.

"We had 30 assists," Yao said through an interpreter. "It was very fluid. I think this is encouraging for our entire team. Everybody was passing, so everybody had open opportunities."

Troy Hudson scored 23 points and Wally Szczerbiak added 20 for Minnesota, which has dropped consecutive games for the first time since January 4-7. The Timberwolves still have won 10 of their last 14 contests.

Minnesota forward Joe Smith suffered a sprained right ankle when he dunked late in the third quarter. He had to be helped to the locker room and did not return.

"I could see this coming," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "We have been resilient all year, but Houston just dominated us. We tried to do whatever we could, but we didn't have the energy or the spark, and our play really suffered."

All-Star Kevin Garnett was held to 14 points for the Timberwolves, making just 6-of-15 shots.

"It's not the game we wanted to play." Garnett said. "We just couldn't make our shots and Houston got a lot of easy baskets. We came in here and got our butts kicked."

"Garnett's a great player," Francis added. "I think he was just a little tired after a tough game last night in Dallas. The bleeding still isn't stopped. We're still down."

The Rockets took control early in the second quarter, using a 17-5 burst to open a 44-32 lead on Mobley's alley-oop layup with 7:36 left in the first half. Maurice Taylor scored eight of his 18 points during the run.

"They look for me to score," Taylor said. "Rudy has confidence in me. Every good team has a guy coming off the bench applying pressure to the other team."

The Timberwolves closed to 58-51 at the half, but the Rockets spurted again early in the third quarter, building a 74-57 cushion on James Posey's 3-pointer with 8:18 left in the period. Minnesota led by as many as 23 in the final minute.

Houston held Minnesota to 44 percent shooting (35-of-79) and outscored outscored the Timberwolves in the paint, 62-40.

"It was a big comeback when we needed it," Tomjanovich said. "We were playing a quality team that has really been playing good. It was our best offensive showing of the year."