News » Scola gives Rockets will to win in the end Forward ups energy level, gets double-double ROCKETS: Scola pulls double duty

Scola gives Rockets will to win in the end Forward ups energy level, gets double-double ROCKETS: Scola pulls double duty

Scola gives Rockets will to win in the end Forward ups energy level, gets double-double ROCKETS: Scola pulls double duty Rockets update

Wednesday: Rockets 97, Timberwolves 84.

Record: 7-5.

Today: At Atlanta, 6:30 p.m.

TV/radio: FSH; 610 AM and 850 AM (Spanish).

MINNEAPOLIS - If Wednesday is any indication, Rick Adelman will be hoarse and worn out by Saturday night.

With the Rockets weary on the second half of a back-to-back and struggling to put away the Minnesota Timberwolves, Adelman was up and loud, pushing hard and taking no chances.

Finally, forward Luis Scola looked over and said, "It's all right, it's all right," then made sure it was as the Rockets brushed aside the Timberwolves in the fourth quarter, extending their winning streak against Minnesota to nine games with a 97-84 victory.

"I thought we were really sluggish in the first half especially," Adelman said. "We had 14 turnovers at halftime. That's what we average (for a game). I just thought we just weren't into the game, so I was trying to push them.

"I told them, ?That team needs a win. Well, we do, too.'?"

Adelman eventually got the Rockets' energy back to full speed. Scola, however, did what he usually does under such circumstances, pushing himself to his best when fatigue becomes a challenge. He had 20 points and a season-high 16 rebounds against the T-Wolves, who have lost 11 straight games since winning their opener.

"It could be seven straight games and he's not going to change the way he plays," Adelman said. "That's who he is. He just keeps playing. He just keeps working. He gives us energy."

Strong on the back end

In the second half of three back-to-backs this season, all Rockets wins, Scola is averaging 21 points and 14 rebounds, making 57.7 percent of his shots. In the Rockets' other nine games, he has averaged 12.2 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 47.9 percent.

"I never think about that," Scola said. "All I can say is when I'm tired, I try to play with extra energy just to compensate. If I'm tired, if I find myself off a little bit - I didn't know I got better numbers in the second half of a back-to-back; I have to check that out - I don't think about it."

Though Minnesota was off since Saturday, with the Rockets facing the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix since, the Rockets outrebounded the Wolves 46-36 and outscored them 44-32 in the paint.

"We have a lot of guys like that," Shane Battier said. "When Luis gets it going, he works so hard, if you don't match his energy and his effort, you feel bad. That's the good thing about this team. We have a lot of effort guys that we can draw inspiration from."

The game did end one streak, with the Rockets failing to reach 100 points for the first time since opening night. But with five players scoring in double figures, the Rockets continued their season-long trend of not losing consecutive games.

After leading most of the night, the Rockets finally pulled away down the stretch.

Kyle Lowry, who was 5-of-7 for his 11 points, hit a jumper. Chuck Hayes, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds, drove to a layup. Scola, whose 16 rebounds were a season high, put in a Hayes miss. When Trevor Ariza drove to a layup for the last of his 18 points, the Rockets had rebuilt their 10-point lead.

Erasing doubt

Unlike in Tuesday's loss to the Suns, when the game slipped away as the Rockets missed each shot in a three-attempt possession, on Wednesday they sealed the win by missing three shots.

This time, however, they led by nine points, got the rebound after each miss, and milked the clock to the game's last 90 seconds before the T-Wolves got the ball back. When they did, Ariza stole it and set up Scola on a break to end all doubt.

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Added: November 20, 2009


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