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What we learned in Kings' deflating loss to lowly Timberwolves

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Harrison Barnes guarding Anthony Edwards

SACRAMENTO -- The defense was offensive. The offense? Wasn’t great either.

The Kings (23-35) and Minnesota Timberwolves (16-43) pretended they were playing in the All-Star game Tuesday night at Golden 1 Center. Wild dunks, open 3-pointers and erratic play ruled the evening as a smattering of fans were allowed in to watch the home team drop another game to a subpar opponent, this time by a final of 134-120.

D’Angelo Russell came off the Timberwolves' bench to torch the Kings for 26 of his 28 points in the first half. Rookie Anthony Edwards added 28 points and Karl-Anthony Towns chipped in a huge 26-point, 18-rebound double-double.

Seven Kings scored in double figures, including a big 20-point night for Moe Harkless. But when the game was on the line, the Kings stopped scoring, and their defense was consistently atrocious from start to finish.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings fell to the T-Wolves again.

Kings need Moe

It was an under-the-radar move to add Harkless at the deadline, but the veteran is quickly fitting in and making himself an important part of the Kings' rotation.

In his seventh straight start for Sacramento, the veteran forward was surprisingly active on the offensive end. He scored 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including three 3-pointers and one poster dunk in the lane.

Harkless added seven rebounds and two steals. He was active on defense, and efficient on offense.

Hammer

Two-way big man Chimezie Metu routinely shows up on the Kings' highlight reel. He’s aggressive going to the rack and loves to catch the lob from Tyrese Haliburton.

 

Metu went off in the third quarter, scoring eight points in a quick burst on his way to a career-high 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

In order to earn a regular roster spot, Metu needs to clean up some of the mistakes, but his effort and energy are contagious.

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Buddy catches refs' ire

Buddy Hield can be an adventure. Against Minnesota, it started before the two teams could even get to a jump ball to open the game.

Hield’s pregame ritual is to come out late, fist bump every player on the bench and every person at the scorer's table before sauntering onto the court while tucking in his jersey some 30 seconds after every other player is already in position and ready to start the game.

The officiating crew had enough of Hield’s antics Tuesday, calling the Kings for a delay of game before the clock even started. This was foreshadowing of Hield’s night, as he ultimately scored just 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting.