The good news is that the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers have lost their games. The bad news is that the Kings had a great opportunity to win and qualify for the playoffs. However, they lost to a Timberwolve team that was absent in the first quarter but changed dramatically in the second quarter. The Kings have played basketball in Minnesota this season.
It was not a nice first quarter for either team, but the Kings controlled the pace and finished with a 30-19 lead. The Timberwolves were held at 9-23 shots and were 0-7 on three, while the Kings shot 13-28 and 3-6 at three. D'Aaron Fox had an excellent quarter with 11 points on 4-7 and 2-3 on three. His recoil three against Derrick Rose was dirty. Bogdan Bogdanovic allowed five minutes, two rebounds and three assists. Rose and Karl-Anthony Towns each had six points for the Wolves.
Find any word that matches the definition of ugly in the dictionary and that describes the performance of kings in the second. The Wolves, who were 13 points behind, began to take advantage by 13. The cities killed the Kings with 24 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and one flight in just 16 minutes. He also shot 10-14 overall. His starting counterpart, Willie Cauley-Stein, was limited to two points on a 1-3 shot and a nine-minute rebound. The Wolves were still 3-18 out of 3 but still kept a lead of 63-53 at the half. Sacramento was dominated by Fox's 14 points, followed by Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley, who scored 10 goals apiece. Sacramento also had nine terrible turnovers in just this quarter.
Minnesota beat the Kings 30-27 to maintain a solid lead of 93-80 after three. The Kings started the game in the eight at 76-68, but saw the Wolves make another run to make the game 86-70. Cauley-Stein and Harry Giles each shot five fouls. Kosta Koufos had to return. Sacramento also could not fall by three when he had fallen to 7-19. Fox led the team with 21 points on shot 8-21 and Bagley and Hield each have 16 points. Towns led his team with 32 points.
Despite a 25-19 win over Minnesota, the Kings could not take advantage of the many opportunities they were given and, as a result, they lost a match they should have won. Hield had plenty of opportunities to get some turnovers but failed to grab the ball. Then, when the team needed points, Hield was kept on the sidelines for reasons we will not understand until Dave Joerger explains. Corey Brewer also gave very good minutes, but a frustrating defeat as the Kings fell to 31-29 this season.
Marvin Bagley was really the only bright spot tonight. In 37 minutes and his first start, Bagley scored 25 points on 9-14 shots, including a 1-1 deep and 6-6 free throws as well as 11 rebounds, two assists, one volley and two blocks. He was also responsible for defending the cities late in the game and did a great job.
De'Aaron Fox shone in the first quarter, but lost the rest of the game. Despite his 23 points, he shot 8-24 from the ground. He finished with five assists, three rebounds and a steal.
Buddy Hield sometimes looked like himself, but for most of the game, he made bad decisions and took the case of trifles. He finished with 18 points on 7-16 shots, 3-6 deep with eight rebounds and three interceptions. He should have had more flights.
Corey Brewer provided a spark at both ends of the ground that statistics do not always describe. He finished with 12 points, scoring 5-6 of his free throws, two rebounds and an assist.
Willie shows money
It was one of Willie's worst games of the year. In 13 minutes. he finished with four points, a rebound and five fouls. His +/- was -20, almost -18 to Hield for the lowest on the team.
Sacramento shot 37-95 from the ground (39%) while the wolves were 42-83 (51%).
Sacramento was bounced 49-44 and 23-20.
Both teams made over 20 turnovers, but the Wolves shot better and left with the win.
The Kings return home to face the Milwaukee Bucks this Wednesday at 7 pm PST. The Bucks were without Giannis Antetokounmpo tonight while he was struggling with knee pain but they defeated the Chicago Bulls 117-106. Knowing it's kings, expect Giannis to play.