The consistency the Kings are seeking was elusive in the first half but Sacramento bounced back in the second half to capture the first game of their four-game road trip with a 113-101 win in over the Timberwolves on Saturday.
Sacramento lead 84-77 entering the fourth quarter but Minnesota cut the lead to 4 with 9:34 to go on a Shabazz Muhammad fade away jumper.
The Timberwolves wouldn't get closer as Sacramento avoided the frustration of falling to an injury-depleted team who had lost six of their last seven games.
After a lackluster first half, which resulted in a four-point deficit for the Kings, Sacramento outscored Minnesota 36-25, propelled by 13 points from Ben McLemore, and took an 84-77 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Kings improved to 8-5 while the Timberwolves fell to 3-9.
It was the third time Sacramento faced a roster missing key pieces, going 2-1 in those affairs. They lost to Oklahoma City on November 9, but beat Chicago on Thursday night.
Sacramento’s sluggish first half included 10 turnovers leading to 13 Minnesota points. and the Kings went 2-for-12 from 3-point range.
Cousins led the Kings with 31 points and 18 rebounds, while McLemore contributed 22 points in the winning cause. Darren Collison was solid again scoring 19 points while dishing seven assists.
No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins led Minnesota with 29 points.
Notwithstanding Ben McLemore’s stellar performance with 13 of his 22 points coming in the third quarter, the Kings got another monster effort from DeMarcus Cousins – his 10th double double of the season and his sixth straight - was massive for Sacramento.
Sacramento outscored Minnesota 36-25 in the third quarter, propelled by 13 points from Ben McLemore and took a 84-77 lead in the final 12 minutes.
Sacramento – F Rudy Gay (right Achilles tendinitis), C DeMarcus Cousins (left hip flexor tightness) and PF Jason Thompson (left quadriceps tendinitis) were probable and started.
Minnesota – G Kevin Martin (fractured right wrist), C Nikola Pekovic (sprained right wrist), G Ricky Rubio (sprained left ankle), C Ronny Turiaf (right hip soreness) and F Thaddeus Young (personal reasons) did not play.
The Kings four-game road trip moves on to New Orleans on Tuesday.