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Thursday, March 20th (All times Eastern)

Minnesota Timberwolves (34-32) at Houston Rockets (45-22), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets are trying to secure homecourt advantage in the Western Conference playoff race, but they'll be without a key piece Thursday night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves at Toyota Center.

Dwight Howard didn't practice on Wednesday and is expected to miss Thursday's contest with a left ankle strain. He underwent an MRI and the results revealed a cyst that has bothered the All-Star center for weeks.

"(The doctors) did some work on it yesterday," Howard acknowledged. "They got some of the fluid out. The cyst caused some problems, caused a lot of pain that I've been feeling for about two-and-a-half weeks, and after the Miami game I couldn't walk. So I just wanted to make sure everything was OK with it and that's when I found out I had a cyst. We got some of that removed and I feel a lot better today."

Howard wasn't in the lineup Monday night when the Rockets squashed the Utah Jazz, 124-86, in Houston.

Omer Asik started in Howard's place and registered a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

"Nothing changes," said James Harden, who had 15 points Monday. "Omer was our starting center last year, he knows what he's doing and he's one of the best centers in the league."

Terrence Jones was magnificent with 30 points. Patrick Beverley finished with 19 points, followed by 17 from Jeremy Lin and 15 out of Jordan Hamilton.

The Rockets shot 58 percent from the floor and 52 percent from beyond the arc. Houston did commit 19 turnovers, but so did the Jazz and the Rockets parlayed those into 26 points.

The Wolves have won two in a row, including a great one-point, overtime victory Wednesday night in Dallas over the Mavericks.

Kevin Love poured in 35 points, including the game-winner with 17.1 seconds left in overtime to lead the Timberwolves to a 123-122 win over the Mavericks.

The Timberwolves blew a 22-point second quarter lead and the game went to overtime tied at 113-113.

Love hit three free throws after a Vince Carter foul from beyond the arc to tie the game at 120-120. Carter fouled out on the play and Love would head back to the line on the next possession, converting 1-of-2 from the line to give the Timberwolves a 121-120 lead with under two minutes to go.

Dirk Nowitzki, guarded by Love, drove the lane and hit a contested fadeaway turnaround to push the hosts in front by one with 33.9 seconds left.

Love answered at the other end with a tough floater after being harassed by Shawn Marion and Devin Harris on the near sideline with 17.1 ticks remaining. Love lost his dribble, pivoted off his right foot turning around a couple of times before splitting the defenders and floating it in.

"They (Mavs) were executing, so we just had to play our best game as well as we could," said Love. "We will take the win, whether it is in regulation or overtime."

Ricky Rubio was brilliant with 22 points and 15 assists. Kevin Martin added 19, while J.J. Barea chipped in 15, Corey Brewer contributed 13 and Gorgui Dieng posted a double-double of 10 points and 11 boards while starting in place of the injured Nikola Pekovic.

The Rockets have won both of this season's matchups and is 10-3 in their last 13 in Houston against Minnesota.

03/20 10:30:30 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 5
PIT 2
Final
WISC 79
UNC 72
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
CHA
 
7:37pm Tonight
LOU
NCSU
 
9:45pm Tonight
DUKE
UTAH
 
Final
PIT 5
ATL 7
Final
DET 6
BAL 4
Final
STL 3
MIA 5
Final
BOS 5
MIN 4
Final
TAM 6
NYY 5
Final
TOR 4
PHI 1
Final
CLE 2
CIN 13
Final
SEA 0
KAN 3
Final
CWS 6
LOS 9
Final
MIL 15
SEA 1
Final
ARI 3
SDP 3
Final
WAS 3
NYM 8
Final
CHC 4
ANA 8
Final
TEX 6
COL 3
Final
SFG 4
OAK 6
1:05pm Today
ATL
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
STL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
DET
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
TEX
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
CLE
 
6:05pm Tonight
HOU
MIA
 
9:05pm Tonight
KAN
SEA
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:05pm Tonight
CIN
MIL
 
10:05pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
MIL 111
IND 107
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
LAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
BOS
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CLE
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
LAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
GSW
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
SAC
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
DAL
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
UTA
 
10:00pm Tonight
PHO
POR
 
Final
ND 81
WICHS 70
Final
WISC 79
UNC 72
Final
LALAF 82
EVAN 89
Final
KENT 78
WVU 39
Final
ARZ 68
XAV 60
7:15pm Tonight
GONZ
UCLA
 
7:37pm Tonight
LOU
NCSU
 
9:45pm Tonight
DUKE
UTAH
 
10:00pm Tonight
NARZ
KSU
 
10:07pm Tonight
OKLA
MSU
 
Final
BOS 2
ANA 3
Final
BUF 3
ARI 4
Final
NYI 2
LOS 3
Final
WAS 3
NJD 2
Final
CAR 5
PIT 2
Final
TOR 1
FLA 4
Final
TAM 2
NAS 3
Final
OTT 1
NYR 5
Final
DET 4
SJS 6
Final
WIN 5
MON 2
Final
VAN 1
COL 4
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CLB
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
DAL