Rockets guard Nick Johnson hit a game-winning layup with less than one second left in overtime to lift Houston to a 114-112 road win over Minnesota on Friday.
Even though All-Star guard James Harden fouled out in regulation, Houston was able to win its third straight game thanks to a clutch play from Johnson, a 2014 second-round pick out of Arizona. With the score knotted at 112 and under eight seconds remaining, Jason Terry initiated Houston's final possession by setting up in a high screen-and-roll. Terry came off the screen to his right, sucking in Minnesota's defense by appearing to rise for a mid-range jumper before he swung a quick pass to Johnson on the right wing. The broad-shouldered Johnson took it from there, using one dribble to beat fellow rookie Zach LaVine to the basket. Johnson powered all the way to the rim, banking in a layup with 0.8 seconds remaining.
Minnesota's Thaddeus Young came up empty on the other end and Houston escaped with the victory.
The game-winning hoop happened to be Johnson's only made field goal of the night, as he finished with six points and two rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. Harden led all scorers with 38 points and added six assists and four rebounds.
Houston improved to 15-4. Minnesota dropped to 4-14.