Since Ty Corbin’s installment of a more fast-paced system into the Sacramento Kings’ game plans, the team has played its worst basketball of the season and entered Minnesota in desperate need of an easy matchup.
While the Kings showed an improvement in its transition offense to start the game, the game still went down to the wire in the fourth quarter as Sacramento escaped with a victory.
Closing out games has been and continues to be an issue for the team, who has given up leads and lost games because of it a number of times this season.
Turnovers have contributed to this particular struggle, and last night was no different as Sacramento had 20 team turnovers. Taking care of the ball had been a problem before Mike Malone’s firing, and the new offense being implemented by Corbin has opened this wound even further.
Rudy Gay had eight turnovers alone, failing to take care of the ball versus Andrew Wiggins‘ defense. Gay had his usually productive game with 21 points on just 12 field goal attempts. He contributed six assists and five rebounds but his turnovers were too much to overcome for the Kings.
Wiggins had an impressive first half with 21 points, as his match up against Ben McLemore didn’t seem to introduce any problems. He led the game with 27 points, and shot 50 percent from the field.
After the game became close late in the fourth quarter with Minnesota cutting Sacramento’s lead down to five on numerous occasions, both DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay fouled out within two minutes of each other.
Cousins left the game with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists but struggled against Gorgui Dieng all night.
Once both of the Kings’ leading offensive players had fouled out, Darren Collison manned the offense and gave the team just enough space to squeak out a win. Collison attacked the basket and took hold of an advantageous matchup against Zach LaVine who had trouble keeping up with him.
After Shabazz Muhammad hit a three pointer with just over two seconds left, the Timberwolves were given a chance at a game winner following two made free-throws by the Kings. However, Troy Daniels‘ attempt was well-defended by Derrick Williams, and the Kings took it in regulation.
Collison had 21 points on 15 attempts from the field, four rebounds and six assists as he led the offensive fight in the fourth quarter.
Derrick Williams started in the place of Jason Thompson, and posted 17 points, five rebounds and three assists. He went 3-for-6 from downtown against his former team.