A pair of Western Conference teams on the outside looking in at the playoff picture take the floor in the Twin Cities. The Sacramento Kings are on the road as they travel to face the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night. Sacramento defeated Chicago 98-81 on the road Friday night in their last contest. Minnesota was defeated 113-104 at home by Oklahoma City in their previous game on Saturday night. The Timberwolves own a 60-55 lead in the all-time regular season series between the teams and have won the last three meetings, including a 105-104 double overtime win on the road in the first meeting this season on December 26, 2019.
Sacramento Kings Look for Back to Back WinsSacramento snapped a six-game losing skid as they knocked off the Bulls on the road Friday night. The Kings entered Sunday fourth in the Pacific Division, 19.5 games behind the Lakers for the top spot. In the Western Conference playoff picture, Sacramento stood 13th, five games behind the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot. The Kings led by eight after the opening quarter and by 10 at the half only to see Chicago come back. Sacramento trailed by one with 2:20 to play in the third quarter but used an 8-0 run over the next three minutes to take a seven-point edge. The Kings didn’t see their lead drop below five the rest of the way. Sacramento shot 43.2 percent from the field, including 10 of 32 from three-point range, and limited Chicago to 39.2 percent shooting. Buddy Hield, who was pulled from the starting lineup in place of Bogdan Bogdanovic, led the way with 21 points off the bench in the win.
✅21 PTS— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) January 26, 2020
Buddy Buckets leads the squad in scoring to help get back in the W column! 🎥 pic.twitter.com/qYWr4QOBbg
The Kings enter this contest 24th in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 106.6 points per game this season. Sacramento is 27th in rebounding with 42.5 boards per game and 22nd in assists by dishing out 22.8 dimes per contest. The Kings are 15th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 109.8 points a night this season. De’Aaron Fox is second on Sacramento with 19.1 points plus 7.1 assists a night on the season. Buddy Hield contributes a team-high 20 points a game while Harrison Barnes (15.1 points, 4.9 boards) and Richaun Holmes (13.1 points, 8.5 rebounds) are contributing offensively this season. Nemanja Bjelica (12.4 points), Bogdan Bogdanovic (14.4 points), Cory Joseph, Dewayne Dedmon and the recently acquired duo of Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver need to put more points on the board to help the team. Marvin Bagley III (14.2 points, 7.5 boards) suffered a fractured thumb in the opener and returned December 11 after missing 22 games. Sacramento is tied for 17h in the league in field goal percentage as they hit 45.4 percent from the floor this season. The Kings are 14th in threes per game as they splash 12 triples a night while they are tied for 18th in three-point shooting by connecting on 35.2 percent from beyond the arc. Sacramento traded Trevor Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan to Portland for Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver and a pair of second-round picks on January 18. Bagley III missed Friday’s game against the Bulls with a foot injury and is questionable here. Holmes has been out since January 6 with a shoulder injury and is expected to miss another two to three weeks.
Minnesota Timberwolves Hoping to Get Back in Win ColumnMinnesota suffered their ninth straight loss as they fell short in the second game of a back to back by falling to Oklahoma City at home. The Timberwolves entered Sunday in the basement of the Northwest Division, 17.5 games behind the Jazz. In the Western Conference playoff picture, Minnesota stood 14th in the standings, 6.5 games behind the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot. The Timberwolves trailed by six after the opening quarter and by four at the half before getting outscored 39-24 in the third quarter to put themselves in a hole. Minnesota got within five with 1:07 to play but that was as close as they would get. The Timberwolves shot 44.4 percent from the field, including 12 of 43 from three-point range, and allowed Oklahoma City to shoot 48.8 percent in the game. Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 37 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the win.
TWO POSSESSION GAME pic.twitter.com/NbHbqcrDAg— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) January 26, 2020
The Timberwolves enter this one 15th in the league in scoring offense as they average 111.2 points per game this season. Minnesota is seventh in the league in rebounding as they collect 46.1 boards per contest and 20th as they dish out 23.3 assists per game. The Timberwolves are 26th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 114.9 points per contest. Karl-Anthony Towns is leading the team with 27 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Andrew Wiggins contributes 22.6 points a night while Robert Covington (12.5 points), Jake Layman (10.5 points) and Shabazz Napier (9.4 points) are solid scoring options as well. Shabazz Napier, Allen Crabbe, Jarrett Culver and Gorgui Dieng are other guys that need to contribute. Minnesota is tied for 27th in field goal percentage as they shoot 43.4 percent from the floor this season. The Timberwolves are tied for 7th by knocking down 12.8 threes per game while the team is 29th by shooting only 32.4 percent from beyond the arc as a team this season. Layman (toe) remains without a firm timetable, making him likely missing for this contest. He has returned to shooting at practice but hasn’t played since November 18. Crabbe sustained a knee injury against the Thunder January 25 and his status is cloudy here.
The top trends for this contest according to Covers.com:
- Kings are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400
- Timberwolves are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- Timberwolves are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS loss
- Timberwolves are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss