Many saw this matchup as having some serious upset potential.
It still does. The Timberwolves played incredibly tough on Sunday night against the Rockets, but when James Harden is out of his mind, Houston is unbeatable.
Aside from Clint Capela, Harden didn't have much support from his teammates. Nobody else was efficient or effective, so The Beard knew he had to step in and prove why he's the eventual MVP.
That's how you get it done on your home court. It looks like LeBron might need to start watching Harden a bit more.
However, the Rockets have a lot of work to do. They can't keep putting on performances like this as a whole.
The Beard put the team on his back. pic.twitter.com/fOOnIYQrvr— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 16, 2018
Chris Paul returned to his usual postseason self, which should worry Houston fans. He had a crucial turnover -- one of six on the game -- in the final seconds that gave the Wolves a chance at tying the game with a three-pointer.
They're lucky Jimmy Butler got a tad trigger-happy and fired off an ill-advised, off-balanced three-pointer with plenty of time left on the clock. Spoiler alert: it wasn't close to going in.
Also, the Rockets' defense allowed five Wolves players to score double-digit points, as Andrew Wiggins led the way with 18.
Nonetheless, it's a good start for the Rockets. As long as Harden is on point, this team is going to be just as dominant as it was in the regular season.
We could watch that all day.
As for the rest of the Western Conference, we're not so sure they'd want to.