Unlike in Game 1, the Houston Rockets did not give the Minnesota Timberwolves any chance in the end game to steal a win, as they thoroughly crushed the Timberwolves on Wednesday, 102-82, to take a 2-0 series lead.

The defense was there for Minnesota. But the Rockets’ relentless and volume-heavy approach in taking 3-point shots proved to be too much for the Timberwolves who will now head back home for Game 3 with their spirits down and with the painful memory of Houston point guard Chris Paul using Minnesota defenders as his backdrop for this insane, high-looping layup in the fourth quarter.

Even with James Harden plunging down hard to Earth with a measly 12-point output in Game 2, a couple of days after he unloaded 44 points in Game 1, the Rockets were able to survive and win with ease thanks in large part to Chris Paul. Paul took over Harden’s usual role as the team’s go-to scorer and manufactured a game-high 27 points on 10-for-18 shooting with three 3-pointers, eight assists, and three rebounds in 30 minutes.

The Rockets shot just 30.8 percent from long distance, but they drilled 16 treys because they did not stop jacking up 3-point shots even when they were not falling. Altogether, the Rockets went 16-for-52 from downtown with Harden going 1-for-10 from deep.

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Houston’s defense deserved a ton of credit also, as the Rockets held Minnesota to just 38.8 percent shooting from the floor.

Chris Paul and the Rockets will have two full days of rest before getting back to action this Saturday for Game 3 of the series in Minnesota.