Kings

Edwards makes two-way impact in Kings' loss to Timberwolves

Kings

Saturday night's game between the Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves was memorable for anyone with the last name Edwards. 

Timberwolves All-Star guard Anthony Edwards lit up the stat sheet with 27 points, four rebounds and eight assists, helping power Minnesota to a 138-134 win over the Kings at Golden 1 Center. Kessler Edwards, whom Sacramento acquired from the Brooklyn Nets at the NBA trade deadline, impressed his new team and provided a spark at both ends of the floor. 

The 22-year-old forward made his Kings debut in Sacramento's 120-109 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 14 and made another brief appearance in the win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Feb. 23. However, on Saturday, Edwards finally got an extended look off the bench and was matched up against, you guessed it, the other Edwards. 

And he passed the test with flying colors. 

"There was a bright spot," coach Mike Brown told reporters after the game. "Kessler Edwards, I thought, getting thrown in the mix and telling him to go guard Anthony Edwards, that's one of the toughest assignments in the league. You're not going to stop a guy like that, but I thought he did a good job of making him work for his points. That was a bright spot in tonight's game."

Combining for just 14 minutes in his previous two appearances, Edwards received a full 14-minute audition against Minnesota. He even admitted to reporters after the game that he was "a little bit" surprised to hear his name called. 

 

Nonetheless, Edwards was thrilled to experience a rowdy home crowd and help his new team in any way he could. 

"It felt good to get out there with my guys," Edwards said. "This was my first time playing for real in [Golden 1 Center] so it was cool to be out there with those guys. Defensively, that's just something I take pride in, bring energy. I know I can bother guys with my length and stuff like that, so that's the most important thing to me when I get out there."

Edwards made his presence known, recording three rebounds, one assist and one steal to go along with a huge 3-pointer that brought the Kings within three points towards the end of the fourth quarter. Edwards also was a team-high plus-12 in plus/minus. 

"Kessler came in and did his job and stayed ready," Kings forward Trey Lyles told reporters. "It's his first game getting real minutes and he was fantastic defensively and offensively grabbed an offensive rebound, hit a big shot. Defensively he was in the right spots and aggressive and helped us out a lot."

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Not only did Edwards impress his new teammates, but he earned their confidence. 

"Just a lot of positive encouragement ... guys telling me not to be scared to do anything," Edwards said of his teammates' advice. "I'm thankful because it seems like they believe in me and what I can possibly bring to the team, so I'm thankful for that."

As impressive as Edwards was in his first extended look with the Kings, it was overshadowed by a frustrating loss that snapped Sacramento's five-game win streak.