After having two close games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers, this game was headed for a similar story line. That was until the Kings decided not to show up in the third quarter, where they were heavily outscored, just like on Saturday.
The first quarter featured a good and even battle amongst both teams. Karl-Anthony Towns was limited to two points while Skal Labissiere got off to a nice start as he was implemented into the starting lineup. The Kings did have an early lead, but the Minnesota Timberwolves went on a run to overtake the lead. The quarter would end with an even 29-29 score.
In the second quarter, Towns decided to wake up. He scored over 14 points in that quarter alone and bossed around anyone who tried to stop him. It featured another high scoring period, where the Wolves scored 34 and the Kings scored 31. The Kings would trail 63-60 heading into the second half, even with Buddy Hield’s hot quarter and Bruno Caboclo making his debut.
Then the Wolves ran away and never looked back. A three point game ended up becoming a 20-point game within one quarter. The Wolves capitalized on every single Kings mistake, which they made a lot of. The Kings had shots going in and out, shots wiped away due to offensive fouls, no effort on defense and turnovers. Just about every negative thing happened to the Kings this quarter.
The fourth quarter was me hoping the Kings could make a run to make this game interesting, but it wasn’t going to happen. Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague stepped up big time in the wake of Jimmy Butler’s absence. The Kings would outscore the Wolves 23-21, but that point differential is way too small for any comeback chance. A 118-100 loss must bring a smile to you tankers!
Skal Labissiere: How about Skal Labissiere in this one? Getting a start over Zach Randolph (who didn’t play today), Labissiere played fired up. In the 31 minutes he played, he led the Kings in scoring with 20 points and added four rebounds. He shot 8/11, including a three and made 3/3 free throws. He played with passion, something the Kings lacked in that second half. It was a good confidence builder for Skal.
Buddy Hield: A hot first half for Buddy Hield was key for Sacramento staying in this one, especially with Bogdan Bogdanovic struggling with his shot. However, he completely cooled off in the second half and just couldn’t shoot his way back into it. He finished with 16 points, three assists, five rebounds and 7/15 shooting (2/6 from three) in 27 minutes.
De’Aaron Fox: The young guard had a quiet, yet good game today. He scored 13 points, grabbed two rebounds and had five assists in 27 minutes. Fox only shot the ball nine times and scored on five of those attempts, while three of those shots were three pointers.
Bogdan Bogdanovic: Like mentioned earlier, Bogdan Bogdanovic dealt with a bad shooting night today, but made his impact with his ball movement. Along with his six assists, he scored 11 points in 32 minutes on 4/13 shooting.
Willie Cauley-Stein: He fouled out late in the fourth, which explains why he could not contain Towns. He scored 17 points, had three assists and only grabbed five rebounds compared to the 15 he had last game. In 29 minutes, he shot 7/13 and made all three of his free throws. An improvement from the last game where he missed five.
Frank Mason: The minutes restriction is still there, but in those 17 minutes we are seeing a hungry Frank Mason. He is bringing it in every game and every minute. Today, he added nine points on 3/6 shooting but was responsible for four turnovers in that span.
Rebounds and free throws were huge in this game. Sacramento was out-rebounded 42-31 but these free throw stats are insane, especially the amount that Sacramento gave. The Wolves were 33/36 from the line, compared to the 12/13 made by the Kings. The Wolves attempted three times the free throws that the Kings MADE...
Turnovers also hurt the Kings as they gave up the ball 14 times. 11 of those were steals for Minnesota. Each team had 22 assists.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 points and grabbed 17 rebounds on 9/10 shooting and 8/8 free throws. Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points and Jeff Teague added 20 points and seven assists. All of the Minnesota starters scored more than 12 points.
Bruno Caboclo scored four points in his 18 minute debut. He shot 2/7 from the field (0/3 from deep) and yes, he has long arms. #BrazilianKD
The Wolves were held to seven threes, which was less than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had on Saturday. So hey, that’s good.
Zach Randolph and Vince Carter didn’t play today while Garrett Temple didn’t play due to his back that was bugging him during warm-ups.
The Kings head to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers tomorrow at 6:30 PM PST. #DameDolla
The Game in One Sentence
The Kings felt sorry for the Wolves losing Jimmy Butler so they had a bad third quarter to lose on purpose.