Timberwolves' Towns and Wiggins Too Much For Kings, Take 102-88 Road Win
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento, Calif. – In a couple of seasons, or maybe three campaigns, the Sacramento Kings definitely want to be where the Minnesota Timberwolves are right now.
The Timberwolves built their current team through the draft with high-draft picks, quality trades for younger players, and along way the way, found a good coach with a defensive mind.
All of those key points were manifested when the Timberwolves (24-36, 9-18 road) defeated the Kings 102-88 behind the offensive and defensive efforts of youngsters Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Towns had 29 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocked shots while Wiggins added 27 points, four rebounds, and four steals. Towns also had eight of Minnesota’s 16 offensive rebounds. The Timberwolves are in the rearview mirror for the eight spot in the playoffs.
Kings head coach Dave Joerger faithfully stated that Towns and Wiggins are “pretty good” and both will be “10-time All Stars” in the NBA future. Joerger also mentioned that he can’t put an army on both players during the game.
“I can’t put three guys on one of them and three on the other guy. They got enough shots the way it was,” Joerger said. “Guys who were open I thought we flew around and tried hard. Karl got a bunch of them off the offensive glass when we had to help. Andrew just went to spots on the floor and said, ‘I'm 6-foot-8, I’m going to post up here, I’m gonna get this shot, and that shot.’ He’s got a nice tempo to his game.”
Sacramento Kings player Ben McLemore slips through Minnesota Timberwolves offender at Golden 1 Center on Feb. 27. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey.
The entire Kings’ starters scored in double-digits, but obviously, it was not enough. Ben McLemore, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Kosta Koufos each had 14 points for the Kings (25-35 overall, 13-17 G1C). Ty Lawson had 11 points and Collison chipped in 10 points to complete the work of the starting unit.
Not only did the Kings allow Towns to go wild on the offensive boards, Sacramento gave up 23 second-chance points to the Timberwolves and committed 18 turnovers, most of them unforced. Minnesota also outscored the Kings 40-19 in the second quarter.
“In the second quarter I thought we great energy,” Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “The defense let us get out into the open floor and we got some easy baskets. I think we scored 40 points in the second quarter and held them to 19. That’s what turned it.”
Minnesota led 60-44 at halftime. The Kings cut the lead 63-56 on a driving basket by Collison with 7:19 left in the third. But the Timberwolves bumped their margin back up by 16 points before ending 36 minutes up 77-65.
The Kings fell back by 21 points in the fourth quarter, but never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way. Tyreke Evans had 13 points, five rebounds, two assists while Buddy Hield added eight points and five rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench.
As expected, the Kings are struggling to find a guy on the team that can deliver buckets when they really need them. Thus far, no one has stepped up to fill that role. The Kings are 1-2 since the DeMarcus Cousins trade and have dropped their last two at home.
“It’s difficult, but I’m confident that it’s gonna work out in the long run. Coach is doing his best to put in more of his plays. It’s gonna take some time. There is always an adjustment period when you have a situation like this. If we really want to get out and score with the best of them, you know, we’re going to have to do it on the defensive end.”
Before the All -break the Kings, Denver Nuggets, and occasionally, the New Orleans Pelicans were mainly mentioned in the Western Conference playoffs. Now the Timberwolves have joined the conversation.
“Yeah, we’re trying to make the push after a slow start when we started 6-18 with a new philosophy,” Wiggins said. “I think now we get it and now we got to make the push. We know it’s hard. There’s a lot of teams in there, but we’re not going to quit.”
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist
Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents
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Opponents Prepare for the New-Look Sacramento Kings
“When you have a primary scorer like those two guys (DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay) you’re going to build your offense around them obviously, and they did. Now, when they leave you see that often times, like that Denver game, you’re not going to replace DeMarcus or Rudy individually. You gotta do it collectively. That’s the style they’re playing, more movement, they’re sharing the ball, and dribble penetration."
"You got a guy like Tyreke Evans in the mix and Tyreke has been a good player in this league for a long time. He’s been injured and that’s really the only thing that’s been holding him down. But you know how dangerous he is, you know how dangerous (Darren) Collison is, and (Ty) Lawson. They have guys who can break you down off the dribble. so you’re concerned about that."
"(Anthony) Tolliver is one of those guys who has always been undervalued. But he plays with a lot of toughness with every team he’s been with. Willie Cauley-Stein has a lot of talent and he’s still finding his way. They are a good team.”
— Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau
The Definition Of Patience, According To Kostas Koufos
After the 102-88 loss at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Sacramento Kings did not sound like a team in the locker room that was waving the white flag. They understand their situation and it’s up to the veteran to calm all fears.
“I don’t feel like the comfort level is there 100 percent. But that’s just one of things that as time progresses, time cures everything,” Koufos said of his teammates. “They are talented guys and we are going to keep on pushing forward. We just have to do the little things right. For us the little things are rebounding, setting screens, and running the floor hard translates to Ws. We just have to keep playing within ourselves and don’t get too high and don’t get too low.”
The DeMarcus Cousins Administration In The Big Easy
The New Orleans Pelicans are 0-3 since acquiring DeMarcus Cousins in a trade from the Sacramento Kings. Cousins had 31 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists in 21 minutes during the 118-110 road lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 26. Boogie made 15 free throws in that contest.
Cousins also picked up his 18th technical foul of the season in the game. He could be suspended for the Pelicans home game against the Detroit Pistons on March 1 unless the NBA rescinds the recent technical foul.
Garrett Temple (left hamstring), Malachi Richardson (right hamstring), and Arron Afflalo (left hamstring) were out against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.