Getting outworked by two players who weren't in the league on Friday may have been rock bottom for the Rockets.
They haven't had near the injury issues that the Timberwolves have, but they looked to be hitting a pretty big wall themselves over the last two weeks. They've been sloppy on offense, turning the ball over far too many times and falling behind by at least 10 points in eight of the last nine games.
"I'm not playing to the best of my ability," Harden said. "I'm not making shots, I'm not making plays. I think we're kind of in a fog right now. We've got to find a way to get out of this fog."
Looking for some juice, McHale started backup Patrick Beverley at point guard over Jeremy Lin, who was just 1 for 5 in the first half, to begin the third quarter along with reserves Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris. But Beverley picked up two quick fouls and had to go to the bench and the Rockets went 0 for 7 and committed five turnovers in the first four minutes of the period.
"I honestly have no answer," said forward Chandler Parsons, who was 2 for 10. "We're not playing well, we're not playing good defense, we're not playing good offense. I don't think we're playing hard enough. I don't feel we're leaving it all out there."
Wolves owner Glen Taylor waited for coach Terry Porter, who is filling in for Rick Adelman while he tends to his hospitalized wife, to finish his postgame press conference and approached him with an outstretched hand.
"I wanted to come in here and see how you did this," Taylor said.
"Smoke and mirrors," Porter replied. "Smoke and mirrors."
NOTES: The Wolves were missing C Nikola Pekovic (bruised right quad), F Dante Cunningham (illness), G Alexey Shved (ankle), F Kevin Love (hand), F Chase Budinger (knee), G Brandon Roy (knee), F Josh Howard (knee) and G Malcolm Lee (hip). ... Lin scored 12 points on 3-for-12 shooting. ... Timberwolves F Derrick Williams had 11 points and five rebounds, and Ricky Rubio had seven points and six assists.