NBA

Wolves' 1-2 punch rolling ahead of visit to Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Rather quietly, Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins is becoming so consistent with his scoring that he is passing the franchise's greatest player on some of the Minnesota record lists.

Teammate Karl-Anthony Towns may soon play copycat.

Wiggins and Towns will try to continue their scoring craze Monday night when the Timberwolves face the Sacramento Kings at the Golden 1 Center. The home team sure wouldn't mind finding somebody to take on that duty for them.

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The dynamic duo has not yet lifted the Timberwolves (23-36) to playoff heights, but the one-two punch has been playoff-caliber. Wiggins scored at least 20 points for the 17th consecutive game in the Timberwolves' 142-130 loss in Houston on Saturday, breaking the previous mark set by Minnesota legend Kevin Garnett.

Towns made that effort look small by scoring a career-high 37 and adding 22 rebounds. He has 59 rebounds in his past three games.

"We've got the best chemistry we've ever had right now," Towns said after the game. "And that's just working with each other and learning with each other. There are things I wish I could do that Andrew Wiggins can do. When you're passing and watching him do his work, it's an amazing sight."

The two steadily have come a more potent duo. Wiggins is averaging 27.8 points during his 17-game streak and hasn't been held below 27 points in his past eight games. Towns was held below 25 only twice in the past nine and is averaging 29.1 points in that stretch. He has scored at least 20 points in 14 straight.

Together, they have combined to average 59 points in nine games since guard Zach LaVine was lost for the season due to a left knee injury that required surgery.

Compare that with the Kings. who in their second game without DeMarcus Cousins on Saturday lost to the Charlotte Hornets 99-85 and didn't have one player put up 20 points.

"One thing we don't have (anymore) is that big guy that's going to score 30 every night," Kings forward Anthony Tolliver said. "So we know it's going to have to be a collective effort."

The Kings have split their two games since trading Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans. They opened with a 116-point effort against the defensively challenged Denver Nuggets, but they missed their first seven shots against Charlotte en route to a 37 percent shooting day.

Sacramento coach Dave Joerger said his team's mission is to find consistency and "get better every day." To that end, the Kings are looking closely at big men Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere.

Cauley-Stein, a second-year player, followed a 29-point effort, 10-rebound effort against Denver with a two-point, two-rebound performance against Charlotte.

Labissiere, a rookie, has totaled 20 points and 16 rebounds in the two games since the trade. He scored a career-high 12 vs. the Nuggets.

Sacramento beat Minnesota 109-105 in the teams' first meeting this season, on Dec. 23 in Minneapolis, but 57 of the Kings' points came from Cousins and forward Rudy Gay (out for the season due to a torn Achilles tendon).

The Monday game is the second of 16 road games Minnesota will play over its final 24 contests. The Timberwolves don't play at home again until March 6.