The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night, 105-97.
Roughly 48 hours removed from Tuesday’s overtime victory over the Golden State Warriors, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns combined for 32 points while Zach LaVine and Gorgui Dieng added 18 apiece to help the Wolves avoid a letdown performance against Sacramento, who rested DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo.
“You want to follow up a good win,” interim coach Sam Mitchell told the Star Tribune afterwards. “There’s a natural tendency when you’re a young team — all people — to let your guard down and become complacent when you have a little success.”
Nemanja Bjelica knocked down 5-of-6 attempts from 3-point range en route to a career-high 18 points. “The key was we respected Sacramento even without their important players,” said Bjelica. “We want to try and win every game and finish this season strong.”
Over the previous eight games, Bjelica has amassed per game averages of 19.5 minutes, 8.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He’s made 60 percent (24-of-40) of his field goal attempts and shot 56.3 percent (9-of-16) from 3-point range during that span. As for his performance against Sacramento, Bjelica told the Star Tribune he “felt good.”
“I was waiting for this game to get my confidence.”
Towns finished Thursday’s win having logged his 50th double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. “He’s [Towns] going to have a very, very bright future ahead of himself,” said Sacramento center Kosta Koufos, as was reported by The AP’s Jeffrey Weidel.
Sacramento’s other center, Willie Cauley-Stein, a rookie who played in the frontcourt alongside Towns at the University of Kentucky last season, scored 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting to go with six rebounds in nearly 33 minutes of playing time. Cauley-Stein has posted per game averages of 11 points, 6.2 rebounds and 26.8 minutes over his last 10 appearances.[Star Tribune, NBA.com]