Kings fall flat in road-trip opener as Edwards, T-Wolves secure W
De’Aaron Fox tried to put the Sacramento Kings on his back during the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the damage had already been done.
T-Wolves duo D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards combined to score 59 points, with Edwards’ final points coming on a game-sealing triple that gave Minnesota a 117-110 win over the Kings at Target Center.
With the loss, Sacramento (27-21) has now lost three of its past four games after winning six straight.
Since the start of the 2017-18 season, the Kings are now 1-7 when playing at Target Center.
De'Aaron doing all he can to keep the Kings alive pic.twitter.com/XAHrz1fSVL
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 29, 2023
Russell kept up his ‘Kings Killer’ act during the first half as the guard lit Sacramento’s defense up for 23 points on a perfect seven-for-seven shooting performance from beyond the three-point line.
With Russell feeling it from deep, Minnesota was in control early as they took a 29-21 lead into the second quarter.
After shooting just 27 percent from the field during the first 12 minutes of play, Sacramento’s offense found its stroke by shooting 68 percent during the second. Thanks to the strong recovery, the Kings entered the break with a 59-57 advantage after outscoring the Timberwolves 38-28 in the period.
The second quarter would act as the Kings’ silver lining on Saturday, as the offense struggled to knock down looks during the second half while Minnesota continued to knock down shot after shot with Anthony Edwards leading the way.
Edwards scored 26 of his game-high 34 points during the second half, as Sacramento’s defense had no answer for the former first-overall pick.
Although De’Aaron Fox put on another ‘Fourth Quarter Fox’ performance during the fourth quarter (21 points) to bring the Kings within four points with 37 seconds remaining, Sacramento had dug itself too deep in this one.
De'Aaron starting to heat up 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Lze4knxr6m
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 29, 2023
One game removed from a season-low 95-point performance against the Toronto Raptors, the Kings finished Saturday’s game shooting just 27 percent from beyond the three-point line.
As good as this Sacramento offense has been this season, the past two games have shown what can happen when this team isn’t firing on all cylinders. The Kings have yet to prove that they are a strong defensive team, so when they can’t use their greatest skill–scoring the ball–consistently, the losses could begin to pile up.
How does this team continue to fall flat in games against teams that are playing on the second night of a back-to-back? That’s a question that grows each passing game as Sacramento continues to squander opportunities against opponents that are playing with tired legs.
Minnesota’s offense got whatever it wanted on Saturday, with Edwards and Russell acting as the driving forces behind a 52 percent shooting performance from the field and 46 percent from beyond the arc. No offense, no defense, no beam for the Kings.
Monday’s game just got interesting as the Sacramento will hope to avoid a three-game losing streak when they play a re-match against the Timberwolves at Target Center.
- Domantas Sabonis posted his NBA-leading 37th double-double of the season: 23 points (9/13 FG), 10 rebounds, and five assists over 39 minutes.
- De’Aaron Fox finished the night with 29 points (10/24 FG) and six assists during 35 minutes of action.
- While Sacramento’s offense struggled, Malik Monk bounced back to score 13 points on 5/9 FG and 3/4 from beyond the three-point line over 19 minutes.
- Harrison Barnes finished the game 10/11 from the free-throw line, while the rest of the Kings shot 17/25 (68%) from the line.
Kings To Part With Dozier, Sign Burton
According to The Sacramento Bee’s Chris Biderman, the Kings will part ways with guard PJ Dozier on Sunday when the 26-year-old’s second 10-day contract expires.
Sacramento will fill Dozier’s roster spot by signing small forward Deonte Burton to a 10-day deal.
Burton, 28, has been playing with the Kings’ G-League affiliate in Stockton this season. The forward has averaged 8.6 points and 2.0 steals per game on 44 percent shooting from beyond the arc over five appearances (24.2 minutes per game).
Deonte Burton gets it through traffic💪#GLeagueNextUpGame https://t.co/0vc3qSU9Jg pic.twitter.com/s0P6GFAFBw
— Stockton Kings (@StocktonKings) January 27, 2023
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Sacramento will continue its lengthy road trip on Monday night when they finish up a two-game set against Minnesota at Target Center.
Be sure to get all of your Kings vs. Timberwolves coverage on Sactown Sports 1140 starting at 3:30 pm PST on Game Night before action tips off at 5:00 pm PST from downtown Minneapolis.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
Monday, January 30th – Sacramento Kings @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 5:00 PM PST
Wednesday, February 1st – Sacramento Kings @ San Antonio Spurs – 5:00 PM PST
Friday, February 3rd – Sacramento Kings @ Indiana Pacers – 4:00 PM PST
Sunday, February 5th – Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans – 5:00 PM PST
Monday, February 6th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5:00 PM PST