Brutal Fourth Quarter Dooms Kings In Loss To T-Wolves
Sacramento took a lead into the fourth, but Minnesota would end the game on a 20-5 run
For the first time since March of 2020, fans were back inside of Golden 1 Center on Tuesday night to see the Sacramento Kings in person.
While fans got their first tase of live Kings basketball in over a year, some things never change.
Although the Kings took a lead into the fourth quarter, the Minnesota Timberwolves would outscore Sacramento 35-17 in the final period to claim a 134-120 win at Golden 1 Center.
Sacramento and Minnesota would come out firing on Tuesday, as both teams would combine for 82 points in the opening period.
The 43 points (60% FG and 63% from 3PT) scored by the Kings in the first quarter tied the team’s season-high for points in a quarter, as Moe Harkless, Buddy Hield and company paced the Sacramento offense to a big start.
Number-one pick in the 2020 draft Anthony Edwards did all that he could to put pressure on the Kings defense, as the rookie would score 16 points over the first 12 minutes of action.
The Timberwolves would punch back in the second quarter behind an enormous scoring output from their star guard D’Angelo Russell.
Russell has become a premier Kings-killer for his explosive scoring outbursts that he has displayed over the past three-plus seasons.
Tuesday night would be no different, as the All-Star guard had an enormous first half where he scored 26 points on nine-of-11 shooting from the field and six-of-seven from the three-point line over just 15 minutes off of the Minnesota bench.
Both teams scored 74 points in the first half on above 50-percent shooting from the field and 40-percent shooting from downtown, giving the 1,600 frontline workers in attendance quite a show over to open things up.
After the Timberwolves opened up the third quarter with a 19-15 run to take a four-point lead, Chimezie Metu, Tyrese Haliburton and the Kings bench kicked thing into a high-gear.
Metu would score eight-straight points to help give Sacramento a 103-99 lead heading into the fourth.
The fun for the Kings would end as soon as the final period began, as Minnesota would end the game on a 20-5 run to hand Sacramento their 35th loss of the season (10th in their last 11 games).
Sacramento had no answer in the paint for Minnesota’s interior presence of Karl Anthony-Towns (26 points, 18 rebounds) or the young perimeter duo of D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards (28 points each).
Minnesota out-rebounded the Kings by a final tally of 50-39 on a night where Sacramento missed their man in the middle, Richaun Holmes.
Although the Kings only turned the ball over 10 times versus the Timberwolves’ 18, the offense fell apart late and that would prove to be the difference in yet another disappointing loss.
After scoring 43 points in the first quarter and 60 points combined in the second and third, Sacramento could only muster up 17 points in the fourth quarter.
That will not win many basketball games–especially when you allow your opponent to score 35 in the process.
Rounding out the box score
On a night where scoring was not an issue for either team, all five members of Sacramento’s starting five finished in double-figures–as well as two members of the second-unit.
Moe Harkless put forward his strongest showing as a King, scoring a season-high 20 points on seven-of-12 shooting from the field and three-of-four shooting from the three-point line while grabbing seven rebounds and swiping two steals over 29 minutes.
Chimezie Metu had the best offensive performance of his young career, as the 23-year-old would finish with a career-high 16 points (eight-of-12 from the field) and four rebounds over only 17 minutes.
Harrison Barnes did a little bit of everything in the loss, scoring 20 points while also pulling down six rebounds and dishing out five assists.
Delon Wright put forward another strong showing off of the bench, scoring 14 points to go along with three rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block.
Hassan Whiteside added 12, while Buddy Hield struggled (three-of-11 from three-point range) during an 11-point performance.
In his worst showing in quite some time, De’Aaron Fox only contributed 14 points on a rough five-of-17 from the field. Fox’s 28 minutes of playing time were his lowest since January 15th’s blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (25 min).
Rookie guard Tyrese Haliburton led the Kings with nine assists in the losing effort.
Richaun Holmes missed his fourth-straight game on Tuesday night due to a right hamstring strain that was suffered during April 12th’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Holmes is considered day-to-day.
Marvin Bagley III continues to work his way back from a fractured fourth metacarpal in his left hand sustained during March 15th’s loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
Bagley was on the floor pregame running through a workout, although his return to action is still not expected anytime soon, per head coach Luke Walton.
Call it déjà vu.
Sacramento and Minnesota will return to Golden 1 Center on Wednesday night for a their second showdown is as many days to complete their three-game season series.
Be sure to tune in for pregame action beginning at 3:00pm PST on The Jason Ross & Doug Christie Show prior to a 7:00pm PST tip-off.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
- April 21 vs Minnesota Timberwolves
- April 25 @ Golden State Warriors
- April 26 vs Dallas Mavericks
- April 28 vs Utah Jazz
- April 30 @ Los Angeles Lakers