Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - James Harden fouling out late in regulation opened the door for an unlikely hero.
Seldom-used rookie Nick Johnson muscled past fellow rookie Zach LaVine and got a layup to go with 0.8 seconds left as the Houston Rockets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-112 in overtime on Friday.
Harden scored 38 points on 17 shots in 36 1/2 minutes before picking up his sixth foul with 1:20 remaining in regulation. On the ensuing Minnesota possession, Andrew Wiggins had a putback dunk to give the Wolves a 105-101 lead.
Donatas Motiejunas scored the final four points in regulation with a righty hook and a pair of free throws to force OT.
"It's tough to foul out, but the way those guys responded was tremendous," said Harden. "(Motiejunas) had some big buckets, (Terry), Nick making the game winner."
It was tied at 112 late in the extra session when Jason Terry, who scored 19 points, drove and dished to a cutting Johnson. The first-year pro out of Arizona had missed his previous four shots before bullying his way to the basket for the game-winner.
Thaddeus Young's last-second jumper from near the foul line fell well short.
The Rockets trailed 57-55 at halftime, but runs of 8-0 and 7-0 helped them create some distance in the third quarter. Trevor Ariza's dunk capped the second flurry and put the Rockets in front, 70-61, with 5:36 left in the frame.
Shabazz Muhammad's slam two minutes later had the Wolves within three, but a 10-4 run to finish the period sent Houston into the fourth with an 83-74 lead.
The Wolves stayed within striking distance throughout the fourth and clawed within two points on Corey Brewer's breakaway dunk with 3 1/2 to play. The slam capped an 11-0 run.
Harden and Brewer then traded 3s before Terry missed a pull-up jumper. At the other end, LaVine drew two defenders and lobbed a pass to Young, whose uncontested dunk tied the game. Wiggins then went coast-to-coast for a layup following Brewer's block on Harden to give Minnesota a 101-99 lead.
LaVine's isolation jumper went down with 1:32 to play, and Brewer drew Harden's sixth foul on the next Houston possession.
Ariza scored 17 points and Motiejunas netted 13 for the Rockets, winners in six of their last seven.
Minnesota has dropped four in a row, including Wednesday's home loss to the previously winless 76ers.
"We have to live in the present," said Wolves head coach Flip Saunders. "We can't worry about what happened in the past. We can't worry about Philadelphia."
Muhammad led seven Wolves in double figures with 20 points, Young scored 19 and Brewer tallied 15 points along with team highs of seven rebounds and six assists.
Rockets forward Kostas Papanikolaou was helped to the locker room late in the fourth quarter with a right knee strain ... Minnesota guard Mo Williams (back) missed the game ... Houston has won six of seven in the series ... The Rockets are 6-2 since Dwight Howard went down with a knee injury ... LaVine scored 17 points.