Mike D'Antoni: 'We haven't played a meaningful game since January'

Apr 15 2018 Cleveland OH USA Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James stands beside Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson in the fourth quarter in game one of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit

Timberwolves Blast Rockets

During the regular season KAT scored 21.3 points per game, good for 24th in the National Basketball Association.

Bench play - It seems unusual to say, but the Timberwolves' bench has outplayed their Rockets counterparts in two out of the three games.

It may seem harsh, but guard James Harden didn't dispute the assessment, agreeing that the team hasn't been in rhythm for a while.

Harden and co beat the Golden State Warriors to the No.1 seed in the stacked Western Conference, setting up a playoff clash with the Minnesota Timberwolves. If it's high - if a team has way more assists than turnovers - the night probably belongs to them.

Looking at the betting trends, the Rockets are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games following a loss, 0-5 ATS in their last five road games and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall.

As we look at the important takeaways from Game 3, we will consider how much of what the Wolves did well is repeatable, and how much is bound to regress.

A loss here would be quite surprising for the 65-win Rockets considering they haven't been beaten in back-to-back games since January 4 & Jan. 6.

Houston struggled at times in the first two games of the series but came away with wins. Harden had 29 points and seven assists in Game 3, when Paul fouled out after only 30 minutes, finishing with 17 points and six assists. Jeff Teague (23 points, eight assists) and Andrew Wiggins (20 points, five rebounds, five assists) both put in excellent games, while Derrick Rose (17 points) had another massive impact off the bench. It's unlikely that Minnesota will shoot as well from the perimeter as they did in Game 3. Although, James Harden scored just 12 points and shot 2-for-18 from the field, including 1-for-10 from the 3-point line. Houston shot just 10-of-37 (27 percent) from 3-point range. Houston shot the ball a little better in Game 3, but they allowed Minnesota to shoot 50 percent from the floor and 55.6 percent from beyond the arc.

If Minnesota had a puncher's chance of staggering mighty Houston, it would most logically occur via an explosion by the Wolves' fourth-ranked offense - more specifically, via the heroics of Karl-Anthony Towns.

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