SACRAMENTO -- Needing a win in the worst way, the Sacramento Kings fell flat on their home floor, losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves by a final of 101-91.
Second-year phenom Andrew Wiggins lit the Kings up for 22 points on 8-for-17 shooting. The 20-year-old wing added six rebounds and played shutdown defense on Kings forward Rudy Gay.
Zach LaVine scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds starting for the injured Ricky Rubio. Then there was 39-year-old Andre Miller who chipped in 12 points and four assists in 18 minutes as a reserve, while Shabazz Muhammad dropped in 15 points on 3-of-5 shooting from behind the arc.
Rajon Rondo tried to keep the Kings close for most of the night, but he couldn’t will them to victory. The veteran guard would finish the night with 16 points and 16 assists in the loss.
With DeMarcus Cousins missing his seventh game of the season and Rudy Gay shooting just 1-for-13 from the field, George Karl turned to Marco Belinelli and Omri Casspi early and often off the bench.
Belinelli dropped in a team-high 17 points on 7-of-12 from the field and 3-for-5 from long range. Casspi added 15 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes of play.
Starting for the second straight night, Kosta Koufos picked up another double-double, finishing with 14 points and 13 rebounds in Cousins stead.
STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Sensing the game slipping away in the early third quarter, Rondo took over. The veteran guard aggressively attacked the Timberwolves defense, leading to seven points and five assists in the period. Without Rondo’s efforts, this game would have been over early.
TURNING POINT -- The Timberwolves built a 75-68 lead going to the fourth. Sacramento cut the lead to two at the 11 minute mark, but the Timberwolves quickly pushed the lead back up and held the Kings at bay the rest of the game.
INJURY UPDATE -- DeMarcus Cousins missed his second straight game with a lower back strain, but appears to be on the mend. Caron Butler missed his second straight as well with a left ankle sprain.
WHAT'S NEXT -- The Kings travel to Oakland to take on the undefeated Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on Saturday evening.