Big 2nd Quarter Leads To Win Over Kings
The Timberwolves outscored the Kings 40-19 in the second quarter, helping Minnesota to a 102-88 win in Sacramento on Monday night.
“The second quarter I thought we had great energy,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game. “The defense let us get out into the open floor and we got some easy baskets. I think we scored 40 points in the second quarter and held them at 19. That’s what turned it. They also came back at the end of the third, start of the fourth and played very well during that stretch as well.”
Minnesota’s two stars, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, were huge again for the Wolves. Towns finished with a game-high 29 points and 17 rebounds, while Wiggins added 27 points and four steals.
Nemanja Bjelica and Shabazz Muhammad led the second unit with 10 points each.
Six Kings hit double-digits, but not one had more than 14 points. Willie Cauley-Stein, Kosta Koufos and Ben McLemore each scored 14 points. Tyreke Evans led the bench with 13. Ty Lawson and Darren Collison scored 11 and 10, respectively.
The win moves Minnesota to 24-36 overall, 12th in the West and 2.5 games back from the eighth seed. The Kings fall to 25-35, ninth in the West and 1.5 game back.
“Yeah, we’re trying to make the push after the slow start when we started like 6-18 with a new philosophy we were trying to learn,” Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio said regarding the playoffs. “And I think now we get it and now we got to make the push and we know it’s hard. There’s a lot of teams in there, but we’re not going to quit.”
Highlight of the Game
With 2:05 left in the third quarter, Rubio bounced the ball through Anthony Tolliver’s legs to Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins corralled it and made a fade-away shot. That bucket gave the Wolves a commanding 73-59 lead.
The Numbers Game
- The Wolves are 8-0 when holding opponents under 90 points this season.
- Towns now has 45 double-doubles this season, tying Russell Westbrook for second in the NBA.
- Wiggins scored 20 or more points for the 18th straight game, extending a franchise record.
Player of the Game
Towns was a monster, finishing with 29 points, 17 rebounds (eight offensive), three blocks and two assists. He shot 13-for-19 from the field and 1-for-1 from the 3-point line.
“He started off the season slowly (rebounding), like the first month,” Thibodeau said after the game. “Since then his rebounding has been off the charts. He hit a little low, probably four or five games before the break. I think the break allowed him to get re-energized. He’s really had a terrific rebounding year, when you look at the way he’s reacting to the ball. He’s very quick to the ball.”
The Wolves stay on the road and will play the Utah Jazz on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The game will air on Fox Sports North and WCCO 830 AM.