Timberwolves win 5th straight, thump Kings 134-114
Feb 8, 2022, 7:25 AM | Updated: 10:32 pm
(AP Photo/Randall Benton)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points, Minnesota made 22 3-pointers and the Timberwolves won their fifth straight, beating the Sacramento Kings 134-114 on Tuesday night.
Malik Beasley matched his career high with seven 3-pointers and scored 21 points, helping the Timberwolves to their ninth victory in 12 games. D’Angelo Russell added 14 points and seven assists.
Jordan McLaughlin had his first career double-double with 11 points and 11 assists, helping Minnesota’s bench outscore Sacramento’s reserves 72-32.
“Just an amazing game by our bench,” Towns said. “Us as starters have to pick it up. Right now the bench is setting the example for us, which is a great thing. We’re building a team of accountability, and as starters we have to be accountable.”
Timberwolves coach Chris Finch echoed Towns and credited his team’s defense with making the difference. Minnesota scored 16 points off 19 turnovers and held Sacramento to 8-of-21 shooting in the fourth quarter.
“Once we addressed some things at halftime, we came out with a lot better activity and intensity,” Finch said. “Kind of got into them a little bit, and then it was a little bit easier to be disruptive. That’s who we need to be.”
De’Aaron Fox had 29 points, six assists and seven rebounds after missing eight games for Sacramento. Earlier in the day the Kings, who have lost nine of 11, acquired Domantas Sabonis from the Indiana Pacers as part of a six-player trade.
The Timberwolves led 102-90 and pushed their lead to 22 after a 9-0 run capped by Russell’s short jumper. Towns scored to make it 124-22, and Jaylen Nowell’s 3-pointer pushed the margin to 25.
The teams play each other again on Wednesday.
“(Minnesota) shot the ball exceptionally well,” Kings interim coach Alvin Gentry said. “We competed and we tried hard. It wasn’t enough to beat that team.”
KINGS ACQUIRE SABONIS
Minutes before the game began, the Kings announced that they traded for Sabonis, a two-time All-Star, while sending guard Tyrese Haliburton to Indiana.
Sabonis, the 11th overall draft pick in 2016, averaged 18.9 points, 12.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 47 games with the Pacers this season. The 25-year-old gives Sacramento its best interior scorer and should help a Kings team that has struggled all season.
“He’s going to add a different dynamic to our offense that this franchise hasn’t seen since DeMarcus (Cousins),” Harrison Barnes said.
In addition to Sabonis, the Kings get Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb and a 2023 second-round pick.
Along with Haliburton, Sacramento sent Buddy Hield and Tristan Holiday to the Pacers. Haliburton, the 12th overall pick in the 2020 draft, is averaging 14.3 points and 7.4 assists this season.
FLURRY OF THREES
The Timberwolves scored 15 consecutive points on 3-pointers in the third quarter and finished 22 of 44 beyond the arc — one shy of their season high. It’s the fourth time this season the Timberwolves have made 20 or more.
Naz Reid took the ball from above the 3-point arc, drove the lane and made a thunderous one-handed dunk over Alex Len in the first quarter, then glared at the Kings’ 7-footer. Len tried to match Reid with a dunk attempt at the other end a few moments later but the ball clanged hard off the back of the rim.
Timberwolves: This is one of seven back-to-back games against the same opponent that Minnesota has this season. … The Timberwolves have forced 902 turnovers, tops in the NBA. … Minnesota is 9-1 when it has 30 or more assists.
Kings: Richaun Holmes was a late scratch because of personal reasons. … Moe Harkless started and had six points but left the game with a sore right ankle early in the second quarter and did not return.
The teams play each other again Wednesday at Golden 1 Center. The Timberwolves beat the Kings in Minnesota in November.
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