After facing an All-Star frontline in New Orleans on Friday night, the Sacramento Kings are back at it on Saturday when they travel to Minnesota to play the Timberwolves.
Former Sacramento star DeMarcus Cousins ran roughshod over the young Kings, finishing the night with 37 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in the win. With four veterans sitting out for either planned rest or for personal reasons, coach Dave Joerger showcased his young core, including big minutes for Skal Labissiere, Georgios Papagiannis and Willie Cauley-Stein on the frontline.
Minnesota is fresh off a drubbing of the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night. Ricky Rubio put on a show, scoring 33 points, dishing out 10 assists and grabbing five rebounds. Since the All-Star break, the veteran point guard is averaging 16.8 points, 10.5 assists and shooting 43.8 percent from behind the arc.
Timberwolves by 11.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Skal Labissiere vs. Karl-Anthony Towns -- One night Labissiere draws All-Star Anthony Davis, the next night he gets another star big in Towns. These two might not start out defending each other, but they’ll be on the floor at the same time for much of the game. Labissiere scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the loss to New Orleans on Friday night. Towns is coming off a 32-point, nine-rebound performance against the Lakers.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 29-47, third place in Pacific
Timberwolves: 30-44, last place in Northwest
Kings: G/F Tyreke Evans (planned rest) out, G/F Garrett Temple (planned rest), C Kosta Koufos (planned rest), SG Malachi Richardson (right hamstring partial tear) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.
Timberwolves: SG Zach LaVine (knee) out, C Nikola Pekovic (Achilles, ankle) out, PF Adreian Payne (illness) out, Nemanja Bjelica (foot) out.
Sacramento holds a 2-1 lead in the season series this year, including a win at the Target Center in December. The Timberwolves hold a slight 54-52 all-time advantage over the Kings.