Published April 03, 2012
| Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Tyreke Evans had 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and the Sacramento Kings topped the slumping Minnesota Timberwolves 116-108 on Monday night.
The Kings opened the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run and never trailed the rest of the way. Sacramento entered the game having lost five of six.
The Kings made their free throws in the closing minute to secure the victory and move to 14-12 at home this season.
Kevin Love had 23 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves, who lost their third straight and fourth in five games.
Rotating defenders, the Kings played tough defense on Love through three quarters. But the All-Star forward got going in the fourth when he scored 11 points.
Nikola Pekovic had 17 points, Luke Ridnour had 13 and Brad Miller had 11 points and six assists for Minnesota, which has seen its playoffs hopes dwindle since losing starting point guard Ricky Rubio last month to a season-ending knee injury.
DeMarcus Cousins had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Kings. Jimmer Fredette had 19 points, one below his season high. Isaiah Thomas had 17 points and five assists. Terrence Williams had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Fouled on a 3-point attempt with 1:50 left, Love made all three free throws to bring the Timberwolves within 109-104.
But Minnesota could not get closer in losing to the Kings for the second time on the road after defeating them twice at home.
Leading by one heading into the fourth quarter, the Kings ran off 11 straight points and took a 98-86 lead when Fredette connected on a 3-pointer at the 8:01 mark.
The Timberwolves missed their first six shots in the fourth and also committed several turnovers.
It didn't help the Timberwolves that Love picked up his fourth foul with just under nine minutes left in the third quarter. Love went to the bench, but not before arguing the call and earning a technical foul.
The Minnesota bench got thinner when Ridnour was in pain near his basket after suffering a sprained right ankle. He had to be helped off the court with under a minute to play in the third and never returned.
Miller started at center for the Timberwolves and scored all 11 of his points in the first quarter. It was the first start this season for the veteran center, who played six years with the Kings.
Before the game, Miller shook hands with Kings owner Gavin Maloof who was at a courtside seat.
Fredette made two 3-pointers late in the first quarter and finished with 14 points in the opening half when the Kings shot a season-best 65 percent and led 65-58.
Evans had 13 for the Kings and Cousins had nine. Miller scored 11 points for Minnesota and Love had 10.
Notes: Injured Minnesota reserves Jose Barea, Michael Beasley and Darko Milicic didn't travel with the team. ... Miller is in his 13th season and has said this will be his final one. He missed the first 19 games this season following microfracture surgery on his left knee. ... Marcus Thornton suffered a bruised left thigh in the first quarter and didn't return. ... The Timberwolves were 11 of 21 on 3-pointers.