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Kings come apart in fourth quarter, lose to Timberwolves

Sacramento couldn’t slow down Minnesota over the final seven minutes of the game.

Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings’ defense was once again their undoing in a 134-120 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Kings couldn’t get a stop when they needed it in the fourth quarter and were outscored 35-17 in the period. Sacramento led 115-114 with 6:05 remaining but allowed Minnesota to go on a 14-0 run to pull away and get the victory in the first game with fans in attendance at the Golden 1 Center.

The Kings allowed the Timberwolves to shoot 56.2 percent from the field (12.1 percent better than their season average) and were outrebounded 50-39.

Harrison Barnes and Moe Harkless each had 20 points to lead the team, but five other Sacramento players also hit double-figures, including Chimezie Metu, who had career-high 16 points. Anthony Edwards had 28, while Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell each chipped with 26 to lead Minnesota.

Both teams came out hot to start the game and were on fire on the offensive end. Rookie Anthony Edwards scored 16 points, and the T-Wolves shot 53.6 percent in the first quarter. But every Sacramento player who took the floor in the opening 12 minutes hit at least one field goal. The Kings shot a blazing 64.3 percent in the first and held a 43-39 lead after one.

The torrid-offensive pace continued in the second. Russell scored 15 points in the period and helped the TImberewolves take a seven-point lead just over seven minutes into the quarter.

Sacramento didn’t fold and continued to get a solid overall team effort. Barnes, Buddy Hield, Hassan Whiteside and Delon Wright all scored in double-figures in the first half, as the Kings remained hot and went into the break tied up at 74-74.

The pace slowed down coming out of halftime, but both teams stayed neck-and-neck in the third quarter. Sacramento outscored Minnesota 29-25 in the period and took a four-point lead into the fourth.

The Kings are all but officially eliminated from postseason contention. They are six games out of a play-in spot, but if the losing continues, Sacramento will able to improve its draft positioning.