Kings 114, Timberwolves 100
Heading into the fourth quarter with a 33-point lead and victory
nearly assured, the biggest drama remaining for the Sacramento
Kings was whether Tyreke Evans would get his second triple-double
in five days.
A rookie point guard, Evans didn’t get the triple-double, but
the Kings still got the lopsided victory.
Evans had 29 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds to lead the
Kings over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 114-100 on Sunday night.
On a night when even his erratic jumper was going in, Evans shot
10 of 19, including two 3-pointers, and made all seven free throws.
He left the game with 6:04 remaining when Kings coach Paul Westphal
decided emptying his bench was more important than leaving Evans in
the game to pursue one more rebound.
“If I got it, I got. If not, it was OK,” Evans said. “I knew
I was close. He just left me in longer than what he should have. I
was attacking and trying to get the triple-double.”
Evans, who recorded his first career triple-double Wednesday
against Toronto, scored 24 points in the opening half to help
Sacramento assume a 64-49 lead. The Kings scored 15 unanswered
points in the first five minutes of the third quarter, including 11
from streaky-shooting Donte Greene, to push the lead to 30.
“I don’t think we let him (Evans) have anything, he just took
it,” Minnesota center Ryan Hollins said. “He got to the hole and
he started hitting jump shots. When he started hitting jump shots
that was pretty much the end of things.”
Greene had 19 points and eight rebounds, helping the Kings avoid
their fifth loss in six games. Jason Thompson had 15 points and
eight rebounds, Carl Landry scored 13 points and Andres Nocioni had
“I thought that Donte really had a good rhythm on his shot,”
Westphal said. “He had great balance, took his time, took good
shots, and really helped break the game open.”
Al Jefferson had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves.
Not even a 39-20 edge in the fourth quarter could prevent Minnesota
from losing its ninth straight.
Minnesota played its second straight game minus injured Kevin
Love, the team’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer. Wayne
Ellington had 15, Ryan Gomes scored 14 and Ramon Sessions had
Following a subpar 10-point game Friday night in a lopsided loss
to Portland, Evans had surpassed that total even before the first
quarter ended. After sitting out half of the second quarter, Evans
entered the game and quickly took over, scoring the Kings’ final 12
With the Kings comfortably ahead, Evans went into passing mode
in the third quarter, getting seven assists. Greene had a
crowd-pleasing, one-hand dunk off Evans’ pass and scored 13 points
to help the Kings take a 94-61 lead into the fourth quarter.
“His night was sensational. He (Evans) started off kind of
slow, then when we got some stops and got in the open floor he was
just unbelievable attacking the rim,” Westphal said. “I think
he’s going to have lots and lots of triple-doubles in his career.
No, he wasn’t begging to go back in.”
Although these teams seem headed for the NBA draft lottery, the
Kings appear to own the brighter future right now. Sacramento won
its 23rd game, while the Timberwolves (14-52) are 1-15 since
beating Memphis on Feb. 6.
“What they have to understand is that a lot has to come from
within,” Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis said. “There is no rule or
law that you he a night to be given anything in this league. No one
is going to hand you wins.”
In the opening half, the Timberwolves were demonstrating why
they allow the second-most points per game (nearly 107) in the NBA.
The Kings had 23 points off the fast break, shot 48 percent and
committed only four turnovers.
Defense has become such a frustrating aspect for the
Timberwolves that both Al Jefferson and Kevin Love questioned the
game plan of Rambis following a loss to Denver on Wednesday.
NOTES: The Timberwolves have lost 16 of 18 away from Minnesota
and started a stretch of six of seven road games. … Evans started
strong, getting 12 points and four rebounds in the opening quarter
when the Kings led 32-28. … Damien Wilkins ended the first
quarter with a 3-pointer from halfcourt at the buzzer.