The Timberwolves were able to snap a three-game home skid, by defeating the Sacramento Kings 99-86 tonight. Minnesota was able to get back on track after a let-down loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. The Kings were out to get a win as well, coming off a 39-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
It was a great bounce back win for Minnesota. Ricky, Luke & Kevin were once again the reason for a W. We'll get to that in a second though.
It looked bad early on for the Wolves as they let the Kings hang around. Luckily they were able to close the game out in the fourth behind 11pts from Love & 8pts from Ellington!
It was a bit back and forth in the early going. Through the first quarter the TWolves took a 6-point lead; 28-22. In the second quarter, the Kings turned it up and outscored Minnesota by 10pts, leading 42-46 at the half. The Wolves bounced back in the third quarter. Outscoring the Kings 25-16; taking a 67-62 lead. After three quarters, Rick Adelman told his guys, they're in the exact same position they were after the first quarter, this time they need to build on it and close this game out, they did just that and grabbed their fifth win, on the year.
Let's take a look at some stats from each team's key players tonight...
Kevin Love delivered his third-consecutive 30+ point game tonight vs. the Kings. An even crazier stat? The 11 rebounds he had in tonight's win, was his season low! I've got to admit, I think I'm more impressed with Luke Ridnour's play tonight. Luke had a season-high in both points and assists. Watching the game tonight and going forward, Ricky is certainly beginning to rub off on his teammates. A no-look pass from Luke to the paint tonight was a key example. Playing both Ricky & Luke together is incredibly effective--on both ends of the floor. Adelman has even said that he's pleasantly surprised that, that backcourt is doing a great job of guarding bigger guards. Ricky flirted with his first triple-double of his career and as always, he just makes his teammates better. Ellington had an awesome game and was a big part of closing out tonight's game. Coming off the bench, he had 15pts, 8 of which came in that final quarter.
For the Kings, they didn't really have anyone lead the team. Their highest scorer(s) were: Marcus Thornton, Francisco Garcia & Jason Thompson--all with 12pts. Tyreke had a solid game running the point, however, he is averaging over 17ppg (before this game) and is a very capable scorer, had just 9pts on 27% shooting. The Kings also lost DeMarcus Cousins in the second half after he was 'hit' in the face by Pekovic on a rebound.
Let's take a look at a comparison of team stats from tonight's game...
Minnesota's 24 assists is a season-high, as they were led by Ridnour (9) & Rubio (8). The Timberwolves shot well from deep, the field and the line, 24% from deep from Sacramento on 17 attempts didn't help them as they threw up a handful of threes in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. The Wolves turned the ball over just 13 times, which is one of their lower stats this season, however Sac-town was able to parlay those into 23 points! That's producing on just about every TO! In blocks, Minnesota had 7 of those within the first half!
Minnesota will practice tomorrow and Brad Miller & Martell Webster are both expected to participate in full-contact practices! J.J. Barea is also expected back. There's a very good chance J.J. will play Wed. vs. Detroit, though I wouldn't expect to see much of (if at all) Martell & Brad. Beasley will be re-evaluated tomorrow as well, but I doubt we'll see him on Wednesday, when asked, he said he'd be playing now if he could. Malcolm Lee did shoot a bit earlier today, but he's still a couple weeks away. A full injury report can of course be found under the "Team Report".
That is all I've got on this one. I'll have some pictures up very soon and a video recap/highlights up tomorrow. Thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!