Howard said the key surge came about because the Rockets slowed things down.
"We didn't try to rush shots and rush down the floor and take bad shots. We took our time, shared the ball and got good shots," he said. "We do an excellent job of sharing the ball and finding an open man. When we do that it's hard for teams to decide what they're going to do, if they're going to double out the posts or stay with the 3-point shooters. We just want to make teams make tough decisions on the floor."
Down by nine at the break, Minnesota scored the first six points of the second half, but Patrick Beverley had five of his 14 points as Houston countered with a 12-0 spurt to extend its lead to 79-64.
The Rockets then began to work the shot clock, but couldn't get shots to fall. Instead, a 12-3 run got Minnesota within four heading into the fourth quarter.
Behind 10 points from Harden — including a pair of 3-pointers — Houston led 34-28 after one. Love had 17 points in the quarter, including 15 straight at one point for the Timberwolves.
Houston had two dunks and a pair of layups as part of a 10-2 run that bumped the lead to 56-45 with 3:43 to play in the second. The Rockets led 67-58 at the break, the most points Minnesota has allowed in a first half this season.
NOTES: The Timberwolves were 21 for 21 from the free throw line, but had no attempts in the fourth quarter. ... Houston, which averages an NBA-high 31.22 free throw attempts per game, had just 20. ... Minnesota starting forward Corey Brewer and center Ronny Turiaf were a combined 3 for 8, scoring just seven points in 48 minutes. ... Houston is home Wednesday against Washington, its lone home game in an eight-game span.