Outside of the first couple of games, the Timberwolves haven't been .500 since going 22-22 to start the 2006-07 season.
The Timberwolves snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Rockets at home and won for only the third time in the last 18 meetings overall. Their last home win over Houston came more than five years ago on January 7, 2007.
"Now we know what we have to do to beat them," said Minnesota's J.J. Barea, who had 10 points off the bench.
The Timberwolves shot better than 68 percent in the first quarter and carried a 33-25 lead into the second. They never trailed after that, and Rockets coach Kevin McHale said his team started out with no defensive intensity.
"We gave up 55 points in the first half," said McHale, whose team trailed 55-42 at the break. "That first quarter we gave them what they wanted and tried to battle back but we had one of those crazy nights."
"We missed layups. It was a bizarre night," said McHale. "We had a break late in the game and we threw it out of bounds."
The Rockets cut their deficit to single digits briefly in the middle of the third quarter and had it down to nine, 81-72, going into the fourth. They were within three as late as 5:16 remaining in the game, but a Nikola Pekovic layup and Ridnour three quickly had it back up to eight and Houston was never closer than six the rest of the way.
The Timberwolves started the 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons 1-1...The Rockets started a six-game road trip that also includes games against Denver, Portland, Phoenix, Golden State and Memphis.