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Game Preview #76: Wolves at Kings

Following a thrilling victory in San Francisco last night, the Timberwolves look to secure another Western Conference win against the Kings.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Game Info

Injury Reports



Karl-Anthony Towns - Right Calf Strain Injury Management

Matt Ryan - Illness


Anthony Edwards - Right Ankle Sprain

Jaylen Nowell - Left Knee Tendinopathy

Taurean Prince - Illness



What to Watch

Kyle Anderson’s Magnificence

Head coach Chris Finch had high praise for Kyle Anderson after Sunday’s win at Golden State, during which Anderson flexed his do-it-all ability.

Anderson deserves all the praise he can possibly get, not just because of his tremendous performance Sunday night but because of what he’s done all season.

He finished Sunday’s contest with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals. In a year the Wolves have struggled in crunch time, Anderson nudged the team to victory after a critical steal near the end of the game.

Bounce Back Scoring Night From Anthony Edwards

After a game in which Edwards looked fatigued and a bit out of sorts, the All-Star guard will need to revert to his scoring-load-carrying ways without KAT on the floor in Sacramento.

Ant had 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting against the Warriors, struggling to get in consistent rhythm aside from a few buckets in the third quarter. He didn’t score in his nearly nine minutes of fourth quarter action, perhaps exhausted from chasing around Steph Curry and Klay Thompson all evening.

He’ll look to get closer to his 24.6 points per game average in his second game back after missing three contests with an ankle injury.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Naz Reid.

The Timberwolves’ leading scorer after KAT’s return? Naz Reid.

It’s extremely encouraging to see Reid’s pairing with KAT yield results like this, as he was floated in the trade market almost solely because of the fact that he struggled when paired with Minnesota’s two centers early in the year (his impending unrestricted free agency was a factor as well, but a crowded front-court for the foreseeable future in Minnesota was the main issue).

He scored 26 points against Atlanta on Thursday and followed it up by scoring 23 on Sunday, flashing his quickness, touch and handle.

Things are a work in progress on the defensive side of the ball, but Reid’s potent injection of scoring should keep him in the rotation from here on out.

Atlanta Hawks v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

The Kings’ Motivation to Clinch a Playoff Spot AND Homecourt Advance in Playoffs

With a victory on Monday night, the Sacramento Kings will clinch a playoff birth for the first time since 2006. In addition to that, they’ll not only clinch a spot in postseason play, but they’ll host a playoff series.

In a tightly contested race for the last few playoff spots, every victory has huge implications for the postseason structure. The Timberwolves sit in seventh, half a game back of the Warriors for the six spot. The Pelicans (eighth), Lakers (ninth) and Thunder (tenth) are all breathing down the Wolves’ neck as the end of the season draws near.

As a fanbase that was once seemingly trapped in basketball purgatory forever, Wolves fans will leave either happy with a win or happy to see a fanbase that has suffered for a similar amount of time reach the postseason.