Harden’s streak survives but T’Wolves ground Rockets

Rockets star James Harden ties a league record but the Timberwolves play spoiler behind Jeff Teague and Karl-Anthony Towns. (Twitter pic)

LOS ANGELES: James Harden joined some elite company by scoring at least 30 points in his 31st straight game on Wednesday but the Houston Rockets lost 121-111 to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Harden scored a team-high 42 points and is now tied with hall of famer Wilt Chamberlain for the second longest 30-point plus streak in NBA history.

Harden will have to wait a week to try and pass Chamberlain for the second-longest streak as Wednesday’s loss was the Rockets’ final game before the all-star break. They return next Thursday to face the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.

It is unlikely, but not impossible, for Harden to catch Chamberlain for the longest streak in NBA history which stands at 65 straight games.

Houston is 16-6 when Harden scores 40 points but the Timberwolves used a balanced attack and an inside game to beat the Rockets on Wednesday.

Jeff Teague scored 27 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 as seven Minnesota players scored in double figures.

Harden’s 30th point on Wednesday came in the third quarter on a three-pointer from the top of the key.

Harden’s streak appeared to be in jeopardy early on as he had just five points at the end of the first quarter.

An explosive 15-point second quarter put Harden back on pace to keep his streak alive.

Harden tried to add to his point total with a long shot from almost centre court at the buzzer, but the ball hit the front of the rim and bounced harmlessly away.

It was his 22nd three-point attempt of the night of which he made just eight baskets.

No other player on the Rockets attempted more than eight three-pointers and Josh Okogie had the most three-point attempts for the Timberwolves with just six.