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Game Preview #53: Kings at Wolves

Minnesota and Sacramento are back in the ring for round two of their season matchup. Can the Wolves extend their win streak to 4?

Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves run it back to wrap up their “baseball series” matchup. In a season where the #4 seed and #9 seed in the Western Conference are currently separated by just 2.0 games, this will be an important one because all games are important ones. For example, the Wolves entered the first game of the two-game series as the 8th seed. Today, they are 5th.

Let’s take a look at the tale of the tape.

Game Info

Injury Report

The Numbers

Sacramento Kings

OFFRTG: 117.5 (1st)
DEFRTG: 114.7 (21st)
NETRTG: 2.7 (7th)

eFG%: 57.1 (3rd)
FTr: .286 (6th)
TOV%: 14.0 (13th)
OREB%: 26.3 (23rd)

Pace: 101.49 (7th)
FBPS: 15.0 (8th)
2nd PTS: 12.9 (21st)
PITP: 51.3 (13th)

Minnesota Timberwolves

OFFRTG: 113.1 (17th)
DEFRTG: 112.7 (12th)
NETRTG: 0.5 (15th)

eFG%: 56.1 (5th)
FTr: .275 (13th)
TOV%: 15.5 (28th)
OREB%: 25.9 (24th)

Pace: 101.71 (6th)
FBPS: 14.9 (9th)
2nd PTS: 11.8 (25th)
PITP: 53.8 (8th)

What To Watch

  • While King James was complaining about how he’s the only player in the NBA who gets a bad whistle on Saturday, the Kings enjoyed a 36-FTA night. Sacramento averages 24.9 FTA per game. It was Domas Sabonis, De’Aaron Fox, and Harrison Barnes who combined for 29 of those free throws to keep their team in the game. They put Jaden McDaniels and Kyle Anderson in foul trouble, but not fully in foul jail. I’ll be closely watching how the Wolves guard the Kings and if the Zebras allow the teams to play basketball. Ed Malloy and Jacyn Goble will not be in attendance.
  • I anticipated game one to be a battle of the Kings perimeter shooting versus the Wolves interior scoring. Instead, it was the visitors who dominated the PITP battle 54-38, inverse to the home team who outshot their opponent 17-9 from perimeter. It was certainly possible that the hot & cold Wolves team turned up for an anomalous 45.9% from deep, but I definitely did not expect the Kings to go 27.3%. Sacramento averages 37.0% from beyond the arc. I’ll be monitoring how each team gets their points tonight.
  • As I mentioned in the first preview, the matchup between De’Aaron Fox and Anthony Edwards for title of “Best Potential Western Guard to Get an All-Star Snub” was scintillating. Fox turned it on late in the game to finish with a 29-point night on an ineffective 10 of 24 performance (Thanks Jaden!). Meanwhile, Ant used a big third quarter to tally a monstrous 34-point, 10-rebound line which was capped with a game-sealing pullup three pointer. Who’s going to win round 2?


  • Trey Lyles has a MPE and scores a career-high 30 points. KAT tweets about his college teammate, fueling more trade rumors.
  • The Naz Reid versus Chimezie Metu dunk-off continues. Metu jumps over one of his own teammates to dunk on Naz. Naz counters by bringing a motorcycle onto the court and jumping over it to dunk on Metu.
  • Wolves win, 124-113.