Kings win third game in a row defeating the Timberwolves 109-105

Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves
Koufos shoots in the paint photo: NBAE

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings won their third consecutive game on Friday night in Minnesota 109-105 as they downed the young and very talented Timberwolves ending their two game winning streak. Both teams fought hard in the game as the lead changed hands 20 times in the contest.

The win was the Kings second in a row on the road as they also won in Utah on Wednesday night. Sacramento’s road record improved to 6-11 and they are 5-5 in their last 10 games.

Sacramento’s overall record improved to 13-17 and moved them into sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference by one-half game over Portland. That means if the season ended today, the Kings would be in the NBA Playoffs.

DeMarcus Cousins leads the way for the Kings

Cousins struggled with the Wolves double-teams in the first half scoring just 11 points. The Timberwolves were unable to hold him down in the second half as he put up 22 points working the paint and shooting from long range.

The Kings forward/center was the team’s assists leader with seven dimes. He was very aware of where his teammates were when the Minnesota defense double-teamed him. Cousins also led the team in steals. It was a Cousins steal from Zach Levine with 36-seconds to go in the game that helped to seal the win for the Kings.

The Kings bench produced big results on Friday night

The Kings bench outscored the Timberwolves bench 45-11. Anthony Tolliver scored 17 points hitting 5-of-7 shots from 3-point range. Tolliver played 30 minutes off the bench for Sacramento.

Ty Lawson has really come into his own in the last few games. He seems to have found how use his speed in the offense. Lawson scored 15 points for the second unit shooting 5-for-11 including two 3-point baskets. He also dished out four assists and had two steals.

The Kings team stats were very impressive

Sacramento shot 42-for-80 (52.5-percent) from the field. They hit 15-of-29 (51.7-percent) from 3-point land. From the free throw line, the Kings went 10-for-14 (71.4-percent).

The Kings assists to turnover ratio was better than the goal of 2:1. They had 27 assists and turned the ball over just 11 times that Minnesota converted into just six points. Sacramento had seven steals in the contest.

The Kings were out-rebounded 42-38.

Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves
Barnes handles the ball for the Kings photo: NBAE

Coach Joerger’s views on the game

  • It was a good game, a good win
  • The Kings avoided the “track meet” mentality of trying to run with the young Timberwolves
  • The executed pretty well
  • By winning three in row, the team has earned Christmas Eve and Christmas off

Lavine was a one-man wrecking crew for Minnesota

Guard Zach Lavine tried to win the game single-handedly for the Wolves and he almost succeeded. Lavine scored a career high 40 points. He shot 13-for-21 from the field including seven 3-point buckets. Lavine was also a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. The third-year shooting guard played 39-minutes in the game.

The other Kentucky center had pretty good game as well

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 20 points for Minnesota. He made it a double-double game by grabbing 13 rebounds. Towns shot 7-for-15 from the floor. He also had five assists.

Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves
Towns works through traffic photo: NBAE

Minnesota has to work on Christmas Day

The Timberwolves travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder on December 25th. That is a tough task for a 9-20 team that is trying to find its footing. Minnesota has all the talent it needs to become a real force in the NBA. Now, it’s a matter of developing the maturity.

The Kings return to action on Monday night

Sacramento has a real chance to make it four wins in a row when they host the 7-22 Philadelphia 76ers at the Golden 1 Center. The Kings need to be very careful with the Sixers. It can be very easy to look past a team that is doing so poorly and wind up losing to that squad. That is what happened last season when the Sixers beat the Kings in Sacramento.

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