THE FACTS: The Minnesota Timberwolves snapped their five-game skid in Sacramento, besting the Kings 97-89 Tuesday night in front of a small Sleep Train Arena crowd.
Kevin Love destroyed the Kings frontline, finishing with 23 points and 24 rebounds in just his fourth game back from injury. Luke Ridnour had an efficient 18-point, five-rebound night, while Nikola Pekovic finished with 16 points and eight rebounds in the win.
Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas did their best to keep the Kings in the game late. Evans dropped 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting, while Thomas scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half. Big man DeMarcus Cousins finished with 20 points and five rebounds, but he took 22 shot attempts and played just 28 minutes due to foul trouble.
QUOTABLE: "It's not about me, it's about the team getting a win. We needed to get off that slump we were on." -- Love on his big night
THE STAT: The Sacramento Kings failed to shoot a single free throw in the first half. Instead of being the aggressor like they have over the last week, they settled for perimeter jumpers. When the jumpers stopped falling, the game was all but over.
TURNING POINT: In the closing moments of the fourth quarter, Love threw up a prayer as the shot clock wound down. Instead of a four-point deficit with the ball for the Kings, Love found the bottom of the net, giving the Wolves a big six point lead late.
QUOTABLE II: "The way we've been struggling, we had the lead and everything, I was going to go for this win. I wasn't going to worry about anything else." -- Wolves coach Rick Adelman on playing Love and Kirilenko big minutes on the first night of a back-to-back
HOT: After a lackluster 1-for-5 start in the first half, Love dominated the third quarter. The All-Star forward scored nine points and grabbed an incredible 10 rebounds, while his Wolves pulled away from the Kings in the third.
NOT: The last time these two teams met, Jose Barea scorched the Kings off the Timberwolves bench, finishing with 21 points and five assists. Tuesday he wasn't nearly as successful. The former Mavericks point guard scored just two points on 1-for-5 shooting. He did contribute six assists and four rebounds, but he wasn't nearly the game changer he was last time around.
GOOD MOVE: Kings coach Keith Smart had his team switch to zone in the fourth quarter and for a long stretch it worked. The Kings recorded four steals and scored seven points on the break as they fought their way back in the game.
BAD MOVE: Love is a great rebounder, but the Kings' roster is filled with plus rebounders. Allowing one player to grab 24 rebounds is unacceptable when you have players like Cousins, Jason Thompson, Chuck Hayes and Thomas Robinson in the post.
NOTABLE: After missing much of the first month of the season, this was Love's first 20-plus point and 20-plus rebound game of the season. Last season he accomplished the feat three times and on all three occasions, he finished with more than 30 points and 20 rebounds.
UP NEXT: For the Timberwolves, Wednesday @ L.A. Clippers, Friday vs. Milwaukee, Tuesday @ Philadelphia. For the Kings, Friday vs. Indiana, Saturday @ L.A. Clippers, Wednesday vs. Toronto.
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