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NBA Global Games - Howard stars as Rockets tame Wolves in Mexico


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- The high-flying Houston Rockets took their acts south of the U.S. border on Wednesday night and put on a spectacular show in front of an appreciate crowd of 18,996 at the Mexico City Arena.

Dwight Howard, who missed his team's last assignment with flu-like symptoms last Saturday, returned to the lineup with a vengeance and imposed his will on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The 6-foot-11, 265-pound center scored 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in Houston's 113-101 victory. Howard made 9-of-16 field goals and 4-of-5 free throws. He also had four blocked shots and a pair of assists.

"It's a big honor to play in Mexico. We had an amazing time even though it was a super short trip. The last time we lost so I wanted to come back with a better effort. I've always wanted to come to Mexico. The fans were great, 18,996.

Despite playing without their star guard -- Ricky Rubio -- who is out with a severely sprained ankle, the Wolves made a game of out it and trailed only by four, 53-49, at the halftime break, But when the Rockets unleashed a 31-21 spurt in the third quarter, it was pretty much all she wrote for Minnesota.

Howard, who helped Houston to 7-1 in the overall standings, had plenty of help in dealing Minnesota (2-5) it's third straight defeat.

James Harden submitted 23 points and 10 assists while Trevor Ariza swished three 3s to finish with 19 points. Kosta Papanikolaou came off the bench with 14 points after drilling all four of his shots above the 3-point arc.

Corey Brewer led the Wolves with 18 points and prized rookie Andrew Wiggins, this year's No.1 pick in the draft, added 15. Kevin Martins saw only 22 minutes of playing time and had 12 points to show for it.

Rookie Zach LaVine filled in for Rubio as court general and the UCLA alum acquitted himself well with a sold eight points and nine assists in 34 minutes of action. (Homer D. Sayson)

Photo: Dwight Howard (L) played like the best center in the league on Wednesday night as he lead the Rockets over the Timberwolves (113-101) with 22 points and 10 rebounds.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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