Articles | Game Recap

Timberwolves 134, Kings 120: Big Ant & bigger KAT prove too much for the Kings

A lot of scoring - any signs of defense = Kings loss

No matter how you feel about the Kings' win on Sunday, I respect your opinion, but I will firmly be the type who is clinging onto the good feelings of a win like it's a roll of toilet paper in the beginning of the pandemic. I had almost forgotten what it felt like to win a basketball game, so I will be soaking in the good vibes for as long as I can. For another great argument on why you should allow yourself to enjoy this one win, go check out Greg's article from earlier today. 11-year-old me was very grateful while reading it. Anyways, onward we go! The Kings faced the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight for the first of a back-to-back matchup. Let's see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings lose, 134-120

Sacramento Kings: 120 PTS, 45.4% FG, 42.9% 3 PT, 87.5% FT, 28 AST, 10 TO

Minnesota Timberwolves: 134 PTS, 56.7% FG, 41.9% 3 PT, 73.7% FT, 34 AST, 18 TO

And just as quickly as they came, those good vibes are gone again. There was a lot of scoring, not a lot of defense, and some weird vibes in the fourth quarter. Harrison Barnes and Moe Harkless led the Kings, each scoring 20 points, while Karl Anthony-Towns ate big tonight with 26 points and 18 rebounds and D'Angelo Russell once again torched the Kings with 28 points off the bench.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
The Good:
  1. It's a Shootout: The first quarter alone ended with the Kings on top 43-39, as they hit seven 3-pointers next to Minnesota's nine. At one point, it felt like watching a pickup game, except everyone could actually shoot. Considering that this was the first night with fans in the Golden 1 Center, it seems that both teams were ready to put on a show for their physical audience. After some rough shooting nights from the Kings, it was nice to see their shots connect so many times. Even the basketball snob in me couldn't help but be entertained by the shootout.
The Bad:
  1. Defense? Not on the Menu: While the constant scoring was fun, the lack of defense from both teams was... well, expected. But it still makes for some ugly basketball moments. The most painful was seeing Buddy Hield brick a 3-pointer and then watch as his man got an open layup on the other end. Then there was a Josh Okogie drive and spin move to evade the softest help side defense I've ever seen in my life for an easy deuce. And finally, Minnesota got plenty of highlight footage tonight as they completed 10 dunks, most of which were uncontested and worthy of SportsCenter. It was clear early on that defense was not a priority for either team tonight, and although the Kings caused a lot of careless Minnesota turnovers, 48 basketball minutes of defense as an afterthought kind of just leaves a bad taste in your mouth, especially when you lose.
  2. Not Cashing In: In the middle stretch of the game, the Kings got a bit more handsy on defense and overall caused the Timberwolves to commit 18 turnovers. The Kings typically thrive on these kinds of mistakes, as much of their scoring comes in quick transition points, but tonight, they weren't able to consistently convert. A handful of these opportunities turned into ill-advised 3-point attempts, contested shots, or even immediate turnovers to give the ball right back to Minnesota. Down the stretch, these fumbled opportunities really hurt the Kings.
The Ugly:
  1. Fourth Quarter Crumble: After going shot for shot with Minnesota through three quarters, the Kings were only able to score 17 points in the fourth quarter. A lot of unusual things happened in those last 12 minutes. For one, we weren't able to rely on De'Aaron Fox's heroics, as the Timberwolves suffocated any driving lanes and forced the ball out of his hands. Secondly, we had to watch Luke Walton foolishly keep playing small ball against Karl Anthony-Towns until the Kings eventually went down by eight points with four minutes remaining when he decided to use his final timeout. Up until then, Tyrese Haliburton and Chimezie Metu, who had developed some very noticeable flow together earlier in the game, remained on the bench. Luke finally put Tyrese and Hassan Whiteside in for more size, but it was too late.
The King of Kings

Despite the loss, tonight was fun because for the first time in 405 days, fans were allowed inside Golden 1 Center to cheer on the home team. 1,600 of the best fans in the world devoted their evening to cheering on the Sacramento Kings - this alone makes them heroes. But beyond their loyal fandom, these 1,600 fans are all also frontline workers and so automatically deserve the King of Kings title for tonight. For your courage, hard work, sacrifice, and compassion, thank you, Kings fans. You really are the best.

Up Next

Wednesday, April 21st vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - 7:00 P.M. (PT)

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deepshot22
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April 20, 2021 10:02 pm

This loss is on me. I picked the Kings to win in the Not-another-dumbass game. But to be fair, I was fouled.

VladePotty
April 20, 2021 10:03 pm

(Don’t be happy for a loss, don’t be happy for a loss, don’t be happy for a loss)

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Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 18
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April 20, 2021 10:07 pm

Tank you very much, T-Wolves!

Amonk81
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April 20, 2021 10:51 pm
Reply to  Klam

Start of another streak! Let’s go. Lose like you mean it.

Not playing Haliburton at least 30 is idiotic. In every way. Whether developing or trying to win.

RikSmits
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April 20, 2021 10:11 pm

I hope your son is okay, Greg.

Greg
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April 21, 2021 7:11 am
Reply to  RikSmits

He was in bed. Tank on, my friends.

Kosta
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April 20, 2021 10:30 pm

comment image

Gregoryl
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April 20, 2021 10:46 pm

To quote Kayte in the postgame, €œthere were a lot of positives!€

Amonk81
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April 20, 2021 10:53 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Yes, another lose is one step closer to cleaning house. To not giving V an excuse to continue on this path.

positives

RikSmits
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April 20, 2021 11:04 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

I loved how Jerry explained his view on broadcasting / being a colour guy on the last podcast. So spot on.

To paraphrase:

  • don’t act like every single play is a fricking highlight. Leave the hype for the great plays;and
  • you have to avoid bashing your own team and players. Instead of telling untruths, just compliment the way the opposing team is playing. That’ll do the trick.

Jerry keeps saying that perhaps he’s too Old School, but I think he’s just smart.

Last edited 1 year ago by RikSmits
Amonk81
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April 20, 2021 11:35 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Yes, that was great. He called out Kings broadcast for doing the shit that irritates us all. Over hype-overly positive rather than realistic and fun.

ive grown to hate listening to Doug and Co. Hardly any analysis. And can’t count how many timeS Draper has lost his shit complimenting a Kings player on an almost play. €œWhat an incredible move, even though he didn’t make it!€. Bottom of the NBA, like everything in this organization.

MillersCornrows
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April 21, 2021 1:01 am
Reply to  Amonk81

DC and Draper sound like they’re drunk at a party for 3/4 of the game until the Kings lose by 15.

RORDOG
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April 21, 2021 8:41 am

I think I’m okay with it. As I get older, I just kinda think €œif I’m going to watch the kings, then I need to do so from the perspective that it should be enjoyable.€ I can isolate individual plays from the overall scheme of things. Like that Chimezie alley oop last night was fucking dope. Why can’t I just enjoy that play, in real time, as if I was a random bball fan who saw it on Twitter after the fact? Part of that is the announcers matching their enthusiasm to the fun-level of the play; regardless of the score.

Otis
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April 21, 2021 9:28 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Maybe I’m not old enough, but there’s too much “boy who cried wolf” in their announcing – getting over-the-top excited for marginal plays and even plays that result in turnovers, etc? And talking up each of these guys individually, with very little criticism – it’s like they are playing to the lowest denominator of fan.

If they saved that stuff specifically for the really exciting plays, I’d have no problem with it. But this is a lousy basketball team that’s playing about as poorly as they have all season – let’s keep it real from time to time.

1951
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April 21, 2021 9:33 am
Reply to  Otis

“Boy who cried wolf” applies to both the over-enthusiasm and the reffing.

They think the Kings get fouled every other play and I hear ” you know, there is not much there” on seemingly every call against the Kings!

Otis
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April 21, 2021 9:44 am
Reply to  1951

They really are almost as bad as the players themselves.

Earlier in the season, I really thought Draper worked better with Christie than Mark Jones did. But that relationship has deteriorated right along with the team.

Last edited 1 year ago by Otis
02kingsfan
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April 20, 2021 10:50 pm

What did those 1,600 frontline workers did to deserve this type of basketball purgatory performance?

Sir_tajj
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April 20, 2021 11:44 pm

I’d love to see Naz Reid in a kings uniform.

MillersCornrows
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April 21, 2021 12:58 am

I mean, come on, Luke didn’t even come out in time to have his interview aired during the postgame show on TV. How many times does HB have to come out before Luke? I swear, I’m really tempted to use swear words regarding Luke. He’s a total loser and will never coach in the NBA again. He’s a beneficiary of WHITE PRIVILEGE. No talent yet he’s coached for how many years?

Last edited 1 year ago by MillersCornrows
satdawg
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April 21, 2021 1:20 am

The most Kangz thing that could happen is 1. We keep Lose for the following year, 2. The team improves (somehow) to have a year like 2018, and then 3. We fire him after the season and have to start all over again with a new coach

J-Fresh
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April 21, 2021 2:13 am

I agree that LW is…well LW.

He is the beneficiary of a contract, friends with former GM, unstable FO and downturn in business revenue.

I disagree it has anything to do with race. Particularly in a sport that is predominantly succeeded by ‘minorities’.

Carina707
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April 21, 2021 8:17 am
Reply to  J-Fresh

I mean isn’t that kind of the point, what did he do to earn such a contract? Why didn’t Vlade give the contract to a different friend? LW wasn’t an amazing player, or head coach. Did well as interim with an amazing Warriors roster.

In a league where almost 3/4 of players are Black, less than 1/4 of head coaches are Black. Why is there a disparity? Do Black players have no desire to coach?

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/31024144/an-nba-double-standard-hindering-black-head-coach-candidates

I think dismissing the notion that this does not have €œanything to do with race€ is negligent in responding to Millers white privilege comment.

At least Steve Nash, who sparked this conversation when he was hired, was a brilliant high IQ player and leader. If Dwyane Wade became interested in coaching, would he get offered a HC spot with no experience? I don’t think so.

rockbottom
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April 21, 2021 9:04 am
Reply to  Carina707

How many Asians, Hispanics or Native Americans are considered for any NBA positions ? Some minorities do not seems to count ! Bigotry in a different form !

Carina707
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April 21, 2021 12:17 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

I’m not sure what your point is….but I agree that white supremacy is a problem?

And really, ppl downvote me all you like I don’t mind at all….but at least comment?
What did y’all not like from what I posted?

This is actually an important conversation to have, and if you think social justice doesn’t belong in sports, you’re turning your back and being complicit to the injustices of this country.

MillersCornrows
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April 21, 2021 12:33 pm
Reply to  Carina707

Well-stated Carina. 707. I agree 100%.

rockbottom
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April 21, 2021 5:08 pm
Reply to  Carina707

That is the point ! It does not for several minorities ! Explain why you do not think they should be considered and not included ! True social justice is inclusive !

MillersCornrows
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April 21, 2021 6:20 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

I had no idea I’d get such a negative response from my comment. I’ve stated many times that Luke lacks talent but is a coach because he’s privileged and there was no problem. So I add in “white” and there’s a problem? What other kind of privilege is it? A little denial that race matters and that white privilege is a thing in some comments.

Last edited 1 year ago by MillersCornrows
Carina707
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April 21, 2021 10:42 pm

Honestly people prefer to €˜not see color’ but that’s harmful for us folks of color. Because there is a difference among us.
So adding €˜white’ to the conversation, specifically privilege, is uncomfortable for some (or I should say, many).

MillersCornrows
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April 22, 2021 12:52 pm
Reply to  Carina707

Yeah I hear you. The point is to not be colorblind because race and ethnicity does mater. We can strive for it, but just can’t be colorblind in this day and age.

Last edited 1 year ago by MillersCornrows
Carina707
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April 21, 2021 10:47 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

I’m still not following your point? I don’t think ANYONE should be excluded from coaching opportunities. And nowhere did I say that….

My personal opinion is that, if you have gotten plenty of experience as an NBA assistant coach, or college head coach you could then deserve an NBA head coach position. I don’t like to see someone with no experience handed the job.

The conversation centers on Black and white, because that is a majority of the league, and the discrepancy in Black head coaches vs white, despite most players being Black. Of course I believe every race/ethnicity should have a chance at coaching.

MillersCornrows
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April 21, 2021 6:21 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

Huh?

Hobby916
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April 21, 2021 5:30 am

Somewhat off-topic question. Which prospect in the 5-12 range fits the “jazzy” style of the kings? (I.e. all offense and no defense). My money is on Wagner or Kispert (the next Klay Curry).

deepshot22
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April 21, 2021 6:04 am

My off-season wish list… 1. Respectable new coach. 2. Luck into a top 5 pick. 3. A couple savvy trades/signings.

IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK BASKETBALL GODS?

Hobby916
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April 21, 2021 7:09 am
Reply to  deepshot22

The basketball gods have given the Kings many chances over the past few years, and they spurn the gods every time. Their backs have been turned on the Kings.

ForKingsandCountry
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April 21, 2021 9:41 am
Reply to  Hobby916

That’s really the problem. The Kings HAVE been really lucky a couple times and totally blown their chances at franchise change. Not picking Luka really broke me because it was so obvious and yet they couldn’t even get that right.

HongKongKingsFan
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April 21, 2021 8:06 am
Reply to  deepshot22

Re your wish list :

1) would Kenny Atkinson be your respectable choice ?

2) We definitely need one of those – Jonathan Kuminga / Cade Cunningham

3) How about a) keeping Harkless, Davis, Wright, Metu
b) trade away both Buddy and Bagley

If all those above really happened, would you give a A+ for this off-season ?

MidtownMike
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April 21, 2021 10:31 am

I honestly don’t think we could get ANYTHING of value for Bagley and with his age would just keep him at this point (unless they did get a decent offer).

One less year on the contract will help Buddy, plus a team believing they could get more out of him than Walton (they absolutely can) makes me think they could get SOMETHING for him, but even if it’s basically a give away I’m good with it.

I really think they should consider Lonzo if they can unload the Buddy contract. Keep Davis, Wright, Metu.

Fox, Wright, Hali
Lonzo, Hali, Davis
Barnes, Davis, Hali, (Draft Pick?)
Bagley, (Draft pick?), Woodard
Holmes, Metu

TerzoM
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April 21, 2021 8:27 am

comment imagecomment image

MichaelMack
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April 21, 2021 8:32 am

How many times is he going to go ultra-small against a big team? Luke is a terrible coach. He has zero sense of what is happening in the game. Good God.

HongKongKingsFan
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April 21, 2021 8:37 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

those ultra-small ball only works for once against the Bucks (luckily) and B, Lopez

other games……..just sucks and not working.

1951
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April 21, 2021 9:28 am

I am going to look at the bright side: at least we are not tanking!

I mean, that would suck!

RobHessing
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April 21, 2021 9:30 am
Reply to  1951

Lukeing > Tanking.

1951
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April 21, 2021 9:35 am

Correlation, causation, who cares? Our coach is an idiot!

Last edited 1 year ago by 1951
ForKingsandCountry
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April 21, 2021 9:44 am
Reply to  1951

And Haliburton’s minutes have been in decline while none of the young guys get any minutes. It’s coaching malpractice. I chuckle every time I have heard Doug and Kyle pontificating on why the Kings look “disjointed” or “out of rhythm” immediately after Hali leaves the floor. It’s not rocket science guys. The offense looks worse when your best facilitator isn’t on the floor.

RobHessing
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April 21, 2021 9:50 am

Pictured below: The rookie wall – comment image

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