The Minnesota Timberwolves have been accustomed to losing lately and it might cost them a chance to make the playoffs.
Sitting 3 1/2 games off the eighth and final postseason berth in the Western Conference, the Timberwolves hope to find some solace tonight against the Sacramento Kings at Power Balance Pavilion. Minnesota suffered its second straight defeat and 10th in 14 tries with Sunday's 119-106 loss at Portland.
Wolves All-Star Kevin Love finished with 26 points and nine rebounds, while Derrick Williams and Luke Ridnour each scored 21 points for the Timberwolves, who fell to 12-16 away from the Twin Cities.
"It's definitely tough at this point. We just have to look to get better," said Love. "As far as tonight goes, we just needed a better defensive effort."
The Timberwolves were without forward Michael Beasley (toe), guard J.J. Barea (quadriceps) and center Nikola Pekovic (ankle). Barea and Beasley are both doubtful and Pekovic is questionable.
Sacramento will resume a four-game homestand tonight and opened the residency with Saturday's 111-99 loss to the New Jersey Nets.
Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 23 points after missing Friday's victory over Utah due to back spasms. Jason Thompson scored 10 points and grabbed 10 boards, while DeMarcus Cousins finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for Sacramento, which has lost three in a row as the host and dropped to 13-12 in California's capital this season.
"Having that energy, that's the one thing that everyone in the NBA is fighting this year, is how to maintain energy throughout the course of a game," remarked Kings head coach Keith Smart. "Our team has done a good job with it. Maybe we were a little tired, but that's happened to everyone."
The Kings are playing out the string and will also entertain the Suns and Clippers on the current homestand. Kings forward John Salmons is doubtful for Monday because of a hip issue and has missed three games in a row. He is averaging 7.5 points and 2.9 rebounds this season.
Cousins averaged a double-double with 19.8 ppg and 10.3 rpg in 17 games last month and will try to keep it going in April. The Kings, who have scored 100 points or more in nine of the last 10 games, play eight home games and six road games this month.
Sacramento has lost two of three meetings with Minnesota this season, but is 7-3 in the previous 10 matchups as the host. The Timberwolves lead the all- time series against the Kings, 45-43.