Kings Host Timberwolves in Home Opener
Posted Nov 6 2006 12:44PM
NBA.com Daily Confidential
After opening the season with three straight road games, the Sacramento Kings become the final team to play their home opener Monday when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Kings and Timberwolves are quite familiar with one another, as Minnesota beat Sacramento 92-83 on Wednesday in the regular-season opener for both teams.
Expected to miss the first two weeks of the season because of a mallet thumb, Kings point guard Mike Bibby made a dramatic recovery, scoring 16 points and nearly leading Sacramento to victory. But he was ejected from the game in the fourth quarter after receiving two technical fouls, and the Kings couldn't recover without their leader.
``We've got to learn from this, keep our cool, and make sure we execute,'' Kings center Brad Miller said.
The Timberwolves (2-1) went on to beat Denver 112-109 on Friday before losing 88-86 to Portland on Saturday. The Timberwolves wrap up their four-game road trip Tuesday at the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sacramento (1-2) has long enjoyed a home-court advantage at Arco Arena, and it'll need it after dropping two of those three road games. Only a comeback win against Chicago prevented the Kings from returning home winless.
They lost 104-91 to Milwaukee on Saturday, one day after rallying to beat the Bulls 89-88.
``They came out and kind of opened it up pretty bad,'' said Bibby, who is shooting just 30.4 percent (14-for-46). ``We weren't hitting any shots and they were. They were being aggressive, we weren't. We were playing timid and that's were it all came down to.''
Miller was forced to leave Saturday's game with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He left the locker room with a protective boot and said his injury would be evaluated before Monday's game.
``We'll see where it's at,'' he said.
The Kings went 27-14 at home last season and have posted winning records at Arco Arena for 12 consecutive seasons. Despite their good mark at home in 2005-06, it was the first time since 1999-2000 that the Kings failed to win at least 30 home games.
The Timberwolves, however, are one of the few teams to play well in Sacramento. They've won the last five meetings at Arco Arena and nine of the last 11 overall.
Minnesota also beat Sacramento in seven games in the 2004 Western Conference semifinals.
Trying to open 3-0 for the first time since going 6-0 in 2001-02, the Timberwolves were unable to get by the Trail Blazers in an 88-86 loss Saturday. Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 10 rebounds, his third double-double in as many games this season, but missed an 8-foot jumper at the buzzer that could've sent the game into overtime.
``I tried to get a foul at the end on that last shot,'' said Garnett, who is averaging 23.7 points and 12.3 rebounds. ``I should have just shot the first look.''
Minnesota was only 9-32 on the road last season.
This is the start of a four-game homestand for Sacramento, which also hosts Detroit, Toronto and Memphis. The Kings were the only team in the league to open with three consecutive road games.
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