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Kings keep it close but lose to Timberwolves 104 to 102 to end road trip

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Both teams were without their starting centers, but the Kings managed to keep it close most of the game before finally succumbing to the Timberwolves in the final minute.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings almost came away with their third victory of this road trip, but some bad execution down the stretch and a couple of big shots by the Timberwolves held them at bay as they lost 104 to 102.  Former King Kevin Martin scored a game-high 31 points, including 14-14 from the line to lead the way for Minnesota.  Kevin Love added 26 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.

For Sacramento, the Kings got big performances from Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Williams.  Thomas scored 27 points to go with 7 assists and 6 rebounds, with a couple of huge threes near the end that gave the Kings a chance to at least tie the game.  Williams was huge against his former team, scoring 26 points on 8-15 shooting to go with 11 rebounds.

Both the Kings and Timberwolves were without their starting centers, as DeMarcus Cousins is dealing with knee tankinitis tendinitis and Nikola Pekovic rested his ankle, which has been bothering him the last couple months.  Aaron Gray started in Cousins' place but wasn't particularly effective against the smaller more mobile Wolves lineup.  Rookie Gorgui Dieng got the start for Pekovic and had a career night, with 12 points, 11 rebounds, 5 blocks and 2 steals in 37 minutes of action.  The Kings are now 0-10 in games that Cousins doesn't play this year.

Sacramento did a good job of keeping Minnesota to a low Field Goal Percentage at 43.6% compared to 48.2% for Sacramento, but the Timberwolves had a big advantage at the line where they were 30-38 to just 14-19 for Sacramento.  Minnesota also only had 9 turnovers to 16 for Sacramento.

The Kings now get a day off to rest before heading home to face the Washington Wizards in the start of a 4 game home stand.

For the opposing perspective visit Canis Hoopus