Brooks leads Rockets over Timberwolves, 112-101



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HOUSTON (AP) - Aaron Brooks scored a season-high 26 points to pick up the slack for the injured James Harden, and the Houston Rockets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-101 on Saturday night.

The Rockets led throughout, and Omri Casspi, Jeremy Lin and Brooks made consecutive 3-pointers in a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter and extend the lead to 91-74.

Harden, who leads the Rockets with 24.2 points per game, sat out with a sore left foot. Lin started in his place and scored 19, but it was Brooks who shined.

Brooks, who entered the game averaging 2.8 points, had a big second quarter, making four 3-pointers and scoring 16 points. He finished with six 3-pointers.

Kevin Love had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and Corey Brewer scored 22 for the Timberwolves.

Brooks, who's in his second stint with the Rockets, is a crowd favorite and the home fans cheered wildly every time he entered the game. Brooks also had five assists, four rebounds and a steal.

Patrick Beverley had 17 points and made a career-high five 3-pointers, and Terrence Jones added 18 points and had 10 rebounds for Houston. Dwight Howard had 11 points and led the team with 13 rebounds.

The Rockets led 82-74 entering the fourth quarter.

The Timberwolves used a 15-4 spurt in the third quarter, fueled by three 3-pointers, to cut Houston's lead to 65-57. Love made a 3-pointer before a turnover by Chandler Parsons which led to a dunk by Brewer capped the run. An exasperated Houston coach Kevin McHale put his hands on his head as he watched Brewer's dunk and quickly called a timeout.

McHale's short pep talk must have gotten Houston's attention. The Rockets responded with a 10-5 run to extend their lead to 75-62 with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

The Rockets led by eight points late in the second quarter before using a 9-2 run thanks to three straight 3-pointers, including two by Brooks, to stretch the lead to 52-37.

Minnesota scored five quick points on a dunk by Kevin Martin and a 3-pointer from Brewer to close the gap. But Lin sunk a 3-pointer at the buzzer to extend Houston's lead to 55-42 at halftime.

Houston jumped out to a 14-2 lead but Minnesota got going after that and cut the lead to 20-16 with the help of three turnovers by the Rockets.

NOTES: Also out for the Rockets on Saturday were Ronnie Brewer, who has a strained right calf, and Greg Smith, who has a sprained right knee. ... It was Howard's ninth double-double of the season. ... Ricky Rubio had eight assists for Minnesota.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Kristie Rieken

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