In their second game in as many nights against the league-worst Minnesota Timberwolves, the Sacramento Kings pulled out a late victory on Wednesday evening. After falling down by double-digits midway through the fourth quarter, the Kings used a 12-0 run to take the lead late in the period, with the game-winning three-ball coming from Buddy Hield with 8.8 seconds remaining. Hield was huge for his squad all night, ending with 29 points, 6 boards, 5 assists, and 7 made three-pointers, while De'Aaron Fox returned to form with 30 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 dimes himself. Minnesota was led by their bigs, as Naz Reid and Karl-Anthony Towns combined for 50 points and 12 boards, but their efforts weren't quite enough to hold off a late surge by the Kings.
Sacramento Kings: 128 points, 58.1% FG, 51.5% 3P, 33 rebounds, 29 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks, 14 turnovers, 19 fast break points
Minnesota Timberwolves: 125 points, 52.9% FG, 44.1% 3P, 34 rebounds, 40 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks, 10 turnovers, 5 fast break points
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
Zero Fox Given: After a rough outing against the Timberwolves on Tuesday evening, which was later attributed to a tweaked ankle, De'Aaron Fox was back to his old self tonight. He took control of the pace of the game whenever the fancy took him, while also recording his 18th 30+ point game of the season. For comparison's sake, Fox posted 30 or more points 10 times in his first 218 career games. He's now accomplished that feat 18 times over his last 45 appearances.
Fast Break Back: The Kings rank as the best team in transition efficiency in the NBA; however, one of the primary criticisms of Luke Walton's tenure has been his insistence that the team slows things down, but that wasn't the case tonight. At seemingly every opportunity, especially in the second half of the fourth quarter, the Kings were out and running, leading to a 19-5 edge in fast break points, a huge difference-maker throughout the game.
New Bench, Old Production: This was a rough night for Monte McNair's trade deadline acquisitions. After putting up 14 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals against the Wolves on Tuesday, Delon Wright scored just two points, while Terence Davis was completely invisible, registering one rebound and zero shot attempts in his six minutes of floor time.
As always, the defense: The Kings let the Minnesota Timberwolves drop 125 points on their asses. Need I say more?
The King of Kings
Buddy Hield: Although De'Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes were also fantastic on the evening, Buddy Hield deserves the honors tonight. After a hot first half, he went cold in the third quarter, but his three-point marksmanship helped bring the Kings back and ultimately win the game. Buddy knocking down 69% of his attempts from the field and 64% of his long-balls was a massive boon for the Kings.
Sunday, April 25th vs. Golden State Warriors - 7:00 P.M. (PT)