5 takeaways from Wolves-Rockets Game 3

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Houston won the lone playoff series between the teams, taking a 3-0 series win over Minnesota in the first round of the 1997 National Basketball Association playoffs. The Rockets' three point shooting has been even worse as they are hitting a paltry 31.5 percent from beyond the arc: they hit 69.6 percent at the charity stripe.

Minnesota took Game 3 of the series but they aren't going to hit 15 threes in a game considering they were last in the league in threes per game in the regular season.

The Wolves Big 3 -- Butler, Towns and Wiggins - made a 26-14 run in the 3rd period to secure the 12 point game advantage 87-75.

If the Timberwolves can ride the energy of their home crowd - after all, the Target Center faithful will be enjoying their first home playoff game in almost 14 years - and avoid sloppy turnovers in the first quarter, they just might have a chance to steal Game 3. Paul led the way with 27 points and 8 assists and Gerald Green scored 21 points off of the bench.

In Game 1, the Rockets were able to pull off a 104-101 win behind James Harden's 44 points and 8 assists.

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The Wolves' 15 3-pointers on 55.6 percent shooting was an anomaly, so they'll likely have to figure out a way to beat the Rockets in Game 4 without an elite 3-point shooting performance.

In the regular season, Houston led the National Basketball Association in both first quarter points scored (30.0) and average margin after the first quarter (4.5).

The Rockets can't simply rely on their offense to win this series.

After back-to-back quiet games, this could be the opportunity for Harden to finally return to his uber-aggressive self and go off for another 40-point game like he did in Game 1. Houston has been flat for the most part over the last month but they still have a 2-1 series lead. Now, head coach Mike D'Antoni feels his team is out of sorts, struggling to get it together after resting players late in the season. The Rockets were 18-1 during the regular season when he made at least three 3-point shots.

Still, they averaged more than 112 points per game prior to the playoffs and also played solid defense at times.

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