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Kings vs. Timberwolves: AT DAWN

Sacramento Kings at Minnesota Timberwolves
5 p.m. Pacific on Comcast SportsNet California

The Kings have won three straight games. The Kings have won three straight games.

Sacramento's had one four-game win streak in the past two years: last March, after the team had been eliminated from playoff contention. Back in Tyreke Evans' first month in the NBA, the Kings had two such streaks in getting off to an inordinately hot start. (The Kings haven't had a five-game streak since 2007, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.)

Tonight the Kings visit the Wolves in Minneapolis; our protagonists last suffered a 13-point defeat here in January. The Kings' offense was just abominable in that game, scoring 86 points in 91 possessions. Kevin Love is not reputed as a defender, and he's the major absence from this game (suspension). That doesn't make me feel great!

But Minnesota's offense was quite good in that match-up too, and Love's the star on that end. He had 33 points on 11-21 shooting in that game. The great Jerry Zgoda reports that Derrick Williams, the rookie, will start in his place. Nikola Pekovic (a burly Montenegran) will start at center, Wes Johnson will be at small forward and the backcourt starters will be Luke Ridnour and Ricky Rubio.

Ah, Ricky.

This is Round 2 in the great Ricky Vs. Reke War. In the first match-up, both had odd games. Tyreke went for 9 points on 3-11 shooting, 10 assists and 8 rebounds. Rubio went for 9 points on 3-10 shooting, 8 assists and 8 rebounds. Draw? Draw.

If that's a draw again, the Kings should win this time. But the Kings also shouldn't trail a bad Hornets team missing three starters by 18 points in the second quarter. 'Should' has nothing to do with the Sacramento Kings right now.

Game's at 5. Game threads at 5 and 6:30. Let's go Kings!