Rockets win first game of season, beat Wolves

Published 9:37 pm Sunday, November 7, 2010

HOUSTON (AP) — Luis Scola scored 24 points and Kevin Martin added 21 to help the Houston Rockets win their first game of the season with a 120-94 rout of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.

Yao Ming, playing under a strict time limit while recovering from foot surgery, had 13 points and four rebounds in 16 minutes. Shane Battier added 17 points for Houston, which lost its first five games. The Rockets lost their first 10 games in 1982-83.

Minnesota lost for the sixth time in seven games. Kevin Love led the Timberwolves with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Michael Beasley added 15 points.

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The Rockets made 39 of 47 free throws and committed just seven turnovers.

Yao and Martin combined to give the Rockets a 60-37 halftime lead and Scola kept the pressure up with 13 points in the third quarter to help Houston extend its advantage to 97-67 heading to the fourth.

Yao came in with 9:17 to go in the second period and scored 11 points over seven minutes. Martin had 12 points in the quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Yao sat out Saturday night’s 124-121 overtime loss to the Spurs.

The Rockets made only seven shots in the first quarter, but they still took a 26-14 lead because the Timberwolves had only one field goal over the final 7:35 of the opening period.

Notes: Aaron Brooks (sprained left ankle), Kyle Lowry (back spasms) sat out the game for the Rockets. … The Rockets lost their first five games by an average of just six points. … Luke Ridnour injured his hamstring and didn’t play in the second half. … Minnesota’s biggest loss this season was 42 points to Orlando, 128-86.