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Harden scores 33 as Rockets beat Wolves, clinch playoff spot

HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden had 33 points and eight assists as the Houston Rockets clinched a playoff spot with a 120-110 victory over the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

Harden shot 9 for 19 from the floor, including 6 for 12 on 3-pointers. Josh Smith added 16 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists and Trevor Ariza scored 14 points for the Rockets, who shot 53 percent, including 20 of 44 on 3s.

Dwight Howard had 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting in 21 minutes in his second game back from a right knee injury. Jason Terry scored 17 points and Corey Brewer had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who are in third place in the Western Conference and clinched a playoff spot for the third straight year.

Andrew Wiggins led the Timberwolves with 31 points, Chase Budinger added 23, and Gorgui Dieng had 18 points and 12 rebounds.

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