Timberwolves' stars shine in rout of Kings
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 15, 2017 11:22 AM
FILE - SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 18: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against the San Antonio Spurs on October 18, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Brian Hall, Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns had 30 points and 14 assists in his league-leading 23rd double-double, Jimmy Butler added 21 points and nine assists and the Minnesota Timberwolves cruised to a 119-96 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time).
Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points for Minnesota (17-12), which has won 3-of-4 and is off to the third-best start in franchise history after 29 games.
Zach Randolph had 15 points and nine rebounds for Sacramento. George Hill scored 16 points for the Kings, who lost rookie point guard DeAaron Fox to an injury in the first quarter.
Kosta Koufos had 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Towns blamed himself for Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) overtime loss to Philadelphia and then got into a back-and-forth with 76ers center Joel Embiid on social media.
Towns then took control early against the Kings. He had 11 points in the first quarter and was active defensively throughout. He added season-highs of five blocks and five assists.
Minnesota used a 13-0 run in the third quarter, capping the stretch on a jumper by Butler for an 84-64 lead. The Timberwolves led by as many as 27 and coasted to the win after a string of close games. Their previous six games were all decided by six points or less.
Kings: Sacramento's reserves outscored Minnesota's 54-24. The Kings lead the NBA in bench scoring and have outscored their opponents' reserves in 25 of 28 games this season. ...F Justin Jackson didn't play in the first half but started the second half. C Willie Cauley-Stein also started the second half after not starting the game. ...Sacramento is 4-12 on the road.
Timberwolves: G Marcus Georges-Hunt played a season-high 17 minutes, his first action since Nov. 29 (Nov. 30, PHL time). After playing just eight players the past three games, Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau expanded his bench with Georges-Hunt seeing time in the first half. He had five points after scoring four total in nine previous games. ...The Wolves were out-rebounded 42-39. They are 4-8 when getting out-rebounded this season.
Fox left the game in the first quarter with a left quadriceps injury and didn't return.
Fox, the No. 5 overall pick in this year's draft, was on the ground stretching with trainers before being declared out. Fox entered the game averaging 10 points and a team-high 3.9 assists.
Kings: At Toronto on Sunday (Monday, PHL time).
Timberwolves: Host Phoenix on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time).