Houston comes into Monday's affair in the midst of a two-game skid, the latest of which took place on Saturday in south Texas when Dwight Howard led seven Magic players in double figures with 22 points, as Orlando jumped out to a big lead and was never threatened in a 118-104 demolition of the Rockets.
Chase Budinger had 19 points to lead Houston, which also fell at Memphis, 115-110, a day earlier. Kevin Martin scored 18 points but needed 18 shots to do so while Luis Scola totaled 15 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets.
"Obviously I'm disappointed with our effort. I can't remember a game we've had like that," Houston head coach Rick Adelman said. "They pretty much did what they wanted to."
The Wolves, meanwhile, are on a three-game losing streak of their own but come into this contest well-rested. Minnesota hasn't hit the hardwood since a 126-111 setback in Los Angeles against the Clippers last Wednesday.
Blake Griffin had his double-double streak snapped in that one, but scored 21 of his game-high 29 points in the first half to carry the Clippers. The anticipated matchup between Griffin and Minnesota's Kevin Love was one-sided, with the rookie dominating in the opening half to give the Clips a double- digit cushion they never relinquished.
Love put up most of his stats when the game was out of reach, logging 26 points and 11 rebounds for his 29th straight double-double in the loss, Minnesota's eighth in nine games overall. The Timberwolves shot 1-for-16 from three-point range. Michael Beasley scored 21 points before getting ejected in the fourth quarter
"We made too many mistakes...The Clippers are playing better basketball," Love said.
After tonight's contest the Wolves, who are 8-12 in the Twin Cities, will finish a brief two-game homestand against Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
Minnesota hasn't topped the Rockets since a 103-99 overtime win in Minneapolis back on Jan. 7, 2007.