Culture of Hoops

Omri Casspi Sets Career-High in Scoring, Sacramento Kings Beat Minnesota Timberwolves 116-111

Image courtesy of Bryan Horowitz/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Bryan Horowitz/Flickr.

The Sacramento Kings appear to have remedied some of their recent offensive struggles, as the team scored 116 in a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Rudy Gay returned to the Kings’ lineup and immediately returned to his pre-injury form, scoring 33 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and dishing five assists. He carried Sacramento’s offense throughout the matchup, with the help of Omri Casspi. Casspi scored 31 on 12-of-20 from the field, setting a new career-high in scoring.

“I enjoyed the offense after the first quarter,” said George Karl. “I thought we had good ball movement, and Omri got hot in the third quarter and made some big three’s for us. Rudy was good in the fourth quarter.”

Derrick Williams brought his usual energy off the bench, running in transition with Casspi to spark the third quarter which would put the game out of the Timberwolves’ reach until the fourth quarter. Williams upped his recently lacking rebounding, too, grabbing eight. Karl, who cited poor rebounding as a source of the team’s struggles, appreciated the increased attacking on the boards.

“When he plays the four he’s got to have a bigger presence as a rebounder and also as a defender of the paint. He had a good rebounding game.”

Williams had 18 points on 8-of-12 from the field.

Minnesota’s starting backcourt of Zach LaVine and Kevin Martin, two of the team’s only capable scorers, combined for 58 of the team’s points. Martin took 31 field goal attempts and went 3-of-11 from beyond the arch, burning many of the Timberwolves’ possessions in pursuit of his scoring output.

Andrew Wiggins shot the ball well from mid-range, and attacked the basket in DeMarcus Cousins‘ absence. He went 11-of-20 from the floor for 26 points. He also had eight rebounds.

Cousins was out for the contest with a sore right foot; he averaged just under 39 minutes per game in the Kings’ three April games.

Reggie Evans started in his place, but played just 18 minutes after the Kings closed out the game.

Minnesota brought the game to within seven points with just over eight minutes left in the game, but Ray McCallum, Gay, and Williams kept the scoring pressure on to put it out of reach.

“I think it could have been an easier win than we made it,” said Karl. “Giving up 37 points in the fourth quarter is ridiculously irresponsible.”

McCallum scored eight of his 13 points in the second half. He had nine rebounds and four assists.

Sim Bhullar saw his first time in an NBA game against the Timberwolves, playing the last 16 seconds of the game.

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