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Pekovic helps Minnesota down Sacramento

Nikola Pekovic had a double-double with 23 84, at Target Center on Tuesday.

"Every time out there he brings out new moves," said Minnesota's Derrick Williams about Pekovic's game. "I think he's the strongest player in the NBA. He's quick off his feet, too. He's really agile and just quick. He's one of a kind with his strength."

Michael Beasley added his own double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota, which has now won three straight. Derrick Williams, playing in place of Kevin Love, added 14 points and pulled down eight boards.

Love was serving the first of a two-game suspension for stomping on Rockets forward Luis Scola on Saturday.

The Kings were led by Marcus Thornton, who netted 22 points, and DeMarcus Cousins, who recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Sacramento had won three straight coming in after defeating New Orleans on Monday night.

The Kings caught fire in the fourth as Jimmer Fredette hit three consecutive treys to pull the Kings within four, 73-69, with just under eight minutes to play.

Later in the fourth, Donte Greene drilled a three for the Kings, but Minnesota answered, as Ricky Rubio drove the lane and kicked it to Williams in the corner, who knocked down a three to put the Timberwolves up, 85-82, with under a minute to go.

Sacramento got the ball back down three with 33.5 seconds to go after each team went 1-of-2 from the charity stripe.

Thornton drew a foul, but managed just 1-of-2 from the line. Rubio was then off the mark with a jumper, but a last-second three from the corner missed off the hand of Green and the Timberwolves held on for the victory.

"We had an opportunity for a shot but it didn't go down," said Sacramento head coach Keith Smart. "The players fought and played well enough to get back into the game after a really bad first quarter."

Earlier, Minnesota used a 13-2 run to grab a 31-16 lead after one quarter.

Minnesota finished the first half 3-of-6 from long range while the Kings were able to hit just 2-of-11 attempts from beyond the arc, allowing the Timberwolves to take a 48-36 lead into intermission. They led 69-60 after three.

Game Notes

Minnesota was playing the first of a back-to-back as it travels to Memphis on Wednesday...Sacramento will return home to play the Thunder on Thursday...The Kings are now 3-12 on the road...Minnesota finished 4-of-14 from long range, while the Kings hit 8-of-23...The Timberwolves held a 16-5 advantage in second chance points.