Feb 25, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings small forward Rudy Gay (8) looks on during the second quarter of the game against the Houston Rockets at Sleep Train Arena. The Houston Rockets defeated the Sacramento Kings 129-103. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Late Spurt Pushes Minnesota Timberwolves Past Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings had battled back from 15 points down late in the third quarter to get to within a basket with 2:09 remaining before the Minnesota Timberwolves pushed on the gas for a closing 11-2 run and a 108-97 win Saturday night at Sleep Train Arena.

Isaiah Thomas drained a 17-foot pull-up jumper to pull Sacramento (20-39) to within 97-95, but couldn’t capitalize on a Minnesota (29-29) turnover when Rudy Gay missed a layup that would have tied the contest.

Instead Nikola Pekovic outmuscled DeMarcus Cousins for an offensive rebound on the other end and was fouled. He hit two free throws to spark Minnesota’s closing 11-2 kick.

The Kings played well early, leading 56-53 at the half on 54.8 percent shooting. But Sacramento cooled off after the break, hitting just 35 percent from the floor and committing 11 second-half turnovers as the Timberwolves took control of the game by outscoring the Kings 31-14 in the third period.

Kevin Martin scored 26 points for the Timberwolves, Kevin Love had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Pekovic finished with 20 points and Corey Brewer scored 13. Ricky Rubio had eight assists.

Gay led the Kings with 24 points, Thomas had 22 points and eight assists and Cousins—back from his one-game suspension—had 21 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots. Quincy Acy also had three blocks off the bench.

Minnesota was 37-for-81 (45.7 percent) overall, 5-for-21 (23.8 percent) from 3-point range and 29-for-38 (76.3 percent) from the free-throw line. Sacramento was 37-for-82 (45.1 percent), 7-for-22 (31.8 percent) and 16-for-21 (76.2 percent).

The Kings had a 47-40 edge on the boards, but the Timberwolves outscored them in the paint 44-30 and on the fast break 14-10.

One bright spot for the Kings was second-round draft pick Ray McCallum, who logged 28 minutes and had career highs of nine points and five assists.

The Timberwolves converted 19 Sacramento turnovers into 27 points. The Kings mustered 11 points off 10 Minnesota miscues.

Sacramento will be home on Monday night when they host the New Orleans Pelicans at 7 p.m. The season series is tied at one game apiece, with each team winning on the other’s home court. The Pelicans won in Sacramento on Dec. 23, 113-100, in Tyreke Evans’ return to the city.

Tags: Sacramento Kings

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