Wolves Top Rockets to Snap Road Slide
Minnesota 82, Houston 79
HOUSTON, April 12 (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves finally found some success away from home.
Mark Blount scored 16 points and Justin Reed added 13 as the Timberwolves snapped a 14-game road losing streak with a 82-79 triumph over the Houston Rockets.
"It was a big shot and I took it," said Banks, who shot 5-of-11. "My teammates had confidence in me."
"I designed the play for Bracey Wright and Justin," Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said. "Marcus kept it because his man jumped to the side."
Trenton Hassell and Wright made key free throws to seal the victory for Minnesota, which had trailed by as many as 18 points.
"They could have given up and they didn't," Casey said. "There was no pep talk, they just came out and fought."
Wright scored a season-high 13 points for the Timberwolves, who shot 38 percent (28-of-74) in winning away from home for the first time since a 103-101 victory at Phoenix on Feb. 6.
"Bracey did a heck of a job down the stretch," Casey said. "He was more comfortable and I think he relaxed."
Minnesota played without starters Kevin Garnett (knee) and Ricky Davis (groin) for the third consecutive game.
"We broke (the road losing streak) without the big guns," Banks said.
Rafer Alston scored 17 points and Juwan Howard added 15 and nine rebounds for Houston, which shot 38 percent (30-of-79) overall and scored just 10 points in the final period.
"We got outcompeted in the fourth quarter," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "They scored 49 points in a half with very marginal offensive players."
While Garnett and Davis were sidelined, the Rockets were without Tracy McGrady (back) and Yao Ming (foot).
"We play the same game," said Alston, who had three steals. "Instead of throwing it into Yao, we're going to throw it into Juwan and play through him. You can say that the season is coming to an end with three or four games to go, but in our situation there is no offseason because when you're a lousy basketball team, your work doesn't stop."