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Kings offense stalls in 134-114 loss to Wolves

What a day in Sactown — and there was a basketball game played.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Basketball wasn’t on the mind of too many in the Kingdom tonight, despite the opening contest of a two-game series in which the Sacramento Kings will host the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Kings fell to the Wolves 134-114 in what felt like an emotionally charged outing from the jump considering all the movement that occurred today.

No lie - the vibrations felt strange without Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thomposon. In lieu of there physical presence there was a palpable chip on Sacramento’s shoulder, including but not limited to our franchise point guard who made his return.

De’Aaron Fox played in his first contest since Jan. 21, missing the East Coast road trip and Sacramento’s most recent home stand with an ankle injury. It was highly coincidental but beyond speculation that Fox made his return the day that two prominent guards were traded, but frankly there was too much going on in the Kingdom to let that notion shape into anything more than an anomaly.

Richaun Holmes was a late scratch, with Kings personnel citing ‘personal reasons’ for the big man’s absence. With just two days remaining with the trade window open, this raised eyebrows for another possible exit.

Minnesota matched Sacramento’s top-speed pace of play, led at the offensive helm of All-Star Karl Anthony Towns and an outstanding bench. The Wolves were white hot from beyond the arc, Malik Beasley the key contributor in their sharp-shooting affair. It was destined to be an dismantled match-up with Sacramento missing bodies, and Minnesota was easily able to capitalize on the deficit.

Fox was a powerhouse in his return, looking spry with his vintage bounce after missing eight games going for 29 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal. Harrison Barnes was efficient and aggressive, pairing nicely with Mitchell as they answered for offensive prowess and defensive effort. Damian Jones was a bright spot in the absence of Holmes, as he continues to earn his minutes as a first-option for Sacramento’s center position.

Sacramento will have an opportunity to rest and regroup as they face off again, same time, team and place tomorrow in what will mimic at ‘playoff-like’ atmosphere in hosting a one up one down series.