SACRAMENTO -- In Game One, the Sacramento Kings picked up their first win. In Game Two, they played their first ever game at the Golden 1 Center. And in Game Three Saturday night, they came from behind for a dramatic 106-103 victory, snapping their four-game losing streak to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
If there was any question who the best big in the NBA is right now, DeMarcus Cousins answered it. The two-time All-Star pounded Karl-Anthony Towns to the tune of 29 points, seven rebounds and four assists as Kings fans rained MVP chants down from the rafters. Cousins fouled out in the final minute, but his team was able pull out the win without him on the court.
With Cousins drawing all the attention, Rudy Gay continued his stellar play, hitting the Wolves for 28 points on 11-for-20 shooting, including 10 points in the wild third quarter. Gay and Cousins carried the scoring load, but plenty of other Kings players contributed in the win.
Matt Barnes played huge minutes for coach Dave Joerger, scoring 12 points off the bench, while handing out a game-high nine assists. His block inside of two minutes gave the Kings the breathing room they needed. His rebound and made free throw with .2 of a second remaining in the game sealed it.
Ben McLemore hit a huge baseline jumper and a pair of 3-pointer in the fourth to give Sacramento a boost. His 13 points off the bench led the Kings’ second unit.
Andrew Wiggins put on a show for Minnesota. After posting 17 points in the first half, the 21-year-old Canadian finished the fourth with a flurry. The Timberwolves went to Wiggins heavy down the stretch and he answered the call with 29 points on 10-for-19 shooting.
Zach LaVine was hot early as well, tossing in 25-footers from the perimeter. He attacked the rim late to finish the night with 21 points. Towns chipped in 15 points and six rebounds for coach Tom Thibodeau and Gorgui Dieng added a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double in the loss.
STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Gay went nuts on both ends of the court and the Timberwolves didn’t know what hit them. For the second straight game Cousins put on a show and comes up empty in the player of the game category.
TURNING POINT -- After coming out flat in the first half, the Kings used a 24-1 run in the third to stun the Timberwolves and take an eight point lead into the final frame. Sacramento pounded Minnesota in the third to the tune of 31-12. The T-Wolves used a late fourth quarter push to tie the game, but the Kings rode the energized crowd for a huge win, improving to 2-1 on the season.
INJURY UPDATE -- Sacramento continues to avoid the injury. They have an entire roster of healthy bodies heading into their five game
WHAT'S NEXT -- Sacramento hits the road for a five-game trip out East which starts with a stop in Atlanta against the Hawks on Monday evening. The Kings hit Miami, Orlando, Milwaukee and Toronto to round out a five game in seven night stretch.