The Sacramento Kings gave their fans another early Christmas present Friday night in Minnesota when they outlasted a young Timberwolves team to come away with a 109-105 victory.
DeMarcus Cousins got off to a slow start, but once he was rolling in the second half, the Timberwolves had no answer. Sacramento’s All-Star big finished the night with 32 points on 13-for-24 shooting and chipped in seven rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocks in the win.
Anthony Tolliver got hot from the perimeter, shooting 5-for-8 from deep for 17 points off the Kings’ bench. Sacramento’s second unit outscored the Timberwolves bench by a final of 45-11.
With Cousins and Tolliver catching fire from deep, Kosta Koufos patrolled the paint, coming away with 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting and added four rebounds.
Ty Lawson chipped in 15 points and four assists. Matt Barnes picked up another start for the injured Rudy Gay and had a solid all-around game. The veteran forward scored 10 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out three assists.
Zach Lavine doesn’t get the fanfare that Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins do, but he can really fill it up. The 21-year-old high-flyer put the Kings on blast from the perimeter, knocking down 7-for-12 from behind the arc on his way to 40 points.
Towns stuffed the stat sheet, posting 20 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, but he couldn’t get his shot to fall when it mattered.. Wiggins didn’t put up the numbers the Kings have become accustomed to, but he still managed to score 15 points.
Ricky Rubio got loose in the third quarter, scoring all 13 of his points in the 12 minutes following the intermission. The veteran point guard added eight assists and five rebounds.
Lavine caught fire in the first half, scorching the Kings for 25 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from behind the arc. He finished the night with a game-high 40.
Sacramento kept plugging away in fourth quarter, but the Timberwolves wouldn’t go away. In the last 20 seconds, Towns missed back-to-back wide open 3-point attempts and Lawson sealed the deal at the line to give the Kings their third straight win.
Rudy Gay missed his sixth straight game with a right hip flexor strain. Omri Casspi was available to play, but never made it off Dave Joerger’s bench after missing four straight due to illness.
The Kings get the holiday weekend off before returning to the court Monday to face the Philadelphia 76ers at Golden 1 Center.