Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - 4/15/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - 4/15/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

With AP Photos.James Harden scored 44 points and the Houston Rockets held off the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-101 in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series. It's the first time a LeBron James-led team has dropped the opening game of the first round of the playoffs. Jimmy Butler led the Timberwolves with 31 points in the win.

Timberwolves, on the other hand, will be aware of their underdog status when the best of seven-series games gets underway Sunday. 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 Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets got their first-round playoff series underway on Sunday night.

Anderson sprained his ankle on April 3 and it sidelined him for the final four games of the regular season. Unlike the Rockets, they had to wait until the last day of regular season to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The Minnesota Timberwolves are averaging 109.5 points on 47.6 percent shooting and allowing 107.3 points on 47.5 percent shooting. He got off to a great start, and it continued all game long, as he finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

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Houston fell to Sacramento in a game that meant nothing to either side as the Kings were headed to the lottery while the Rockets had long locked up the top seed in the playoffs and home court advantage throughout.

Offensive efficiency will be the mantra for the Timberwolves as they look to upset the Rockets.

The Wolves are hung tough, and had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but the Rockets escaped with a three-point win. Eric Gordon is putting up 18 points per contest while Clint Capela averages 13.9 points plus 10.8 rebounds a night. The Rockets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Sunday games, 9-3 ATS in their last 12 vs. NBA Northwest and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall. Slowing down the Rockets fast-paced style will be key, so look for Jeff Teague and the T-Wolves offense to use up a lot of the shot clock. Minnesota's defense has struggled this year, and unless they pick it up, they could be swept by the NBA's most electric offensive team.

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