(Sports Network) – Luis Scola ended with 24 points and Kevin Martin added 21 to lead the Houston Rockets to their first victory of the season, a 120-94 defeat of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Jordan Hill provided 14 points off the bench for the Rockets, who dropped their opening five games and were the NBA’s last winless team. Yao Ming scored 13 in a little under 17 minutes.
Houston, which made 39-of-47 free throws, recorded its 12th consecutive victory over Minnesota.
Kevin Love had 16 points and 16 boards to pace the Timberwolves, who have lost five in a row.
Houston took control with a run late in the first quarter. Already ahead by five, the Rockets got two foul shots from Courtney Lee before Chase Budinger sank two from the line on a flagrant foul. Lee followed with a three, and Chuck Hayes got a layup to fall to cap the nine-point burst.
Corey Brewer followed with a jumper to end the frame and get Minnesota within 26-14, but Houston maintained control in the second. Yao scored 11 in the quarter while Martin had 12 points, including a three that capped a seven- point flurry and had the Rockets ahead 52-30 with 3:03 left.
Houston took a 60-37 lead to the break.
Scola’s 13 points powered the Rockets in the third quarter, after which they held a 97-67 advantage, allowing them to cruise to the finish.
Nikola Pekovic had 12 points and 11 boards off the bench for the Timberwolves, who got 15 points from Michael Beasley. Brewer ended with 10 points…Minnesota had 17 turnovers, compared to seven for the Rockets…The Timberwolves continue their three-game road trip Tuesday in Los Angeles against the Lakers…Houston next embarks on a three-game trip, starting Wednesday in Washington.