MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 4 (Ticker) -- Five days later, the Minnesota Timberwolves had the better foreign big man.

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Rasho Nesterovic outplayed rookie Yao Ming and Kevin Garnett fell an assist shy of a triple-double as the Timberwolves posted a 103-89 victory over the Houston Rockets.

In Friday's 20-point victory over the Wolves, the Rockets received a big game from their Chinese All-Star center while Minnesota did not get much from its Yugoslavian big man.

The 7-5 Yao had 24 points and 13 rebounds in the victory while the 7-foot Nesterovic totaled just nine and three.

Nesterovic turned the tables in this one, finishing with 19 points on 9-of-14 shooting while grabbing six rebounds. Yao finished with a respectable 12 points and 10 boards.

Nesterovic established himself early, getting a variety of easy baskets in the first quarter as he scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

"He (Nesterovic) got a lot of good looks - picking up dish-offs and loose balls and flipping them in," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said.

The 7-foot Garnett actually was better than both big men, totaling 23 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

"KG was a monster again," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "You can take anyone else in the league and if you put him on our team, we would not have 29 wins."

Troy Hudson added 17 points and Wally Szczerbiak 16 for Minnesota, which won for the eighth time in 10 games and moved a season-high nine games over .500 at 29-20.

A pair of foul shots by Cuttino Mobley, who scored 17 points, had the Rockets within 65-64 with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

But Anthony Peeler hit a 17-footer and rookie Igor Rakocevic drilled a 3-pointer, triggering a 9-3 spurt that closed the quarter and gave the Timberwolves a seven-point cushion.

Garnett carried the Wolves in the quarter, scoring 10 points as Minnesota shot a blistering 70 percent (14-of-20) in the period. Szczerbiak added eight points in the quarter.

In addition to his scoring, Garnett also passed out of numerous double-teams and found open teammates. That helped the Wolves shoot 55 percent (43-of-78) overall.

"We haven't had a game where somebody scored at a percentage like that in a long time," Tomjanovich said. "That had been our trademark all season. They shot the ball extremely well. They took smart shots, much like we did at home last week."

Like the Rockets, the Wolves also resorted to the double-team. But unlike their counterparts, the Wolves enjoyed success.

Minnesota ran two defenders at Yao nearly every time he touched the ball and limited him to just seven shots.

"They used to do that to Dream (Hakeem Olajuwon)," Rockets guard Mobley said. "We haven't seen a double-team like that, I don't think all year. They came pretty fast."

Struggling to figure out the Wolves' defense, the Rockets shot 44 percent (34-of-78).

"We didn't have the patience to beat this team," Tomjanovich said. "We had been shooting the ball pretty good, but he (Garnett) has a lot to do with that, with his presence. He's so effective with his length. Having two 7-footers on the floor is tough. We got trapped on the right side of the floor, where you have to throw across your body. Yao can do that, but with a defense that's so long, it's so tough."

The Rockets also had a big game from their superstar as Steve Francis scored 31 points, making 11-of-21 shots.

Francis scored five points in a 10-3 surge to start the fourth quarter, helping the Rockets close to 77-75 with 10:20 to play.

But Kendall Gill made two foul shots and Hudson drilled a 3-pointer off a pass by Garnett out of a double-team for an 82-75 advantage with just under nine minutes left. The Rockets got no closer the rest of the way.

"We haven't changed our scheme to have me score more," Hudson said. "Kevin has been doubled and tripled, and he's been finding the open man."