Harden scored 13 fourth-quarter points, including 10 straight to give the Rockets a 99-91 lead with just more than three minutes to play. They have two All-Stars in the team - Karl-Anthony Towns and the returning Jimmy Butler.
Timberwolves, on the other hand, will be aware of their underdog status when the best of seven-series games gets underway Sunday.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets got their first-round playoff series underway on Sunday night. He's done all this while leading the Rockets to the best record in the National Basketball Association and top seed in the Western Conference.
Minnesota, dominated by the Rockets during the four-game regular season series, led 86-85 on two free throws from Jamal Crawford (15 points) with 6:49 remaining.More news: Boston marks 5 years since marathon attack with tributes
The Timberwolves come into this game 8 in scoring with 109.5 points a game. They have the odds-on favorite for the MVP, James Harden, leading the league in points and third in assists. The four-time All-Star is healthy and ready to go and will be an offensive factor for Minnesota after averaging 22.2 points per game this season.
Minnesota won their final three games of the season to make the playoffs, capped by the victor moves on, loser goes home contest with the Nuggets. Towns had 12 rebounds and two assists. Andrew Wiggins is a stud for the games he shows up and plays focused. Their "reward" was a date with the top-seeded Rockets.
This will be an interesting thing to keep an eye on in the playoffs with the Rockets - seeing how often its bigs switching onto Harden and how much he makes them pay. Capela had 20 points and 10 rebounds at halftime, but was limited in the second half and added just four more points and two rebounds. Butler is now 0 for 12 this season in the final 10 seconds when the Wolves are tied or losing by three or less. While it's fair to say that the Rockets had most teams' numbers this season, the fact remains that it's hard to argue with a sweep.
Tonight's late Rockets vs Timberwolves game will be televised exclusively on the TNT cable TV channel.