Pekovic helps Minnesota down SacramentoFeb 8, 2012 - 4:26 AM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Nikola Pekovic had a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Minnesota as it defeated Sacramento, 86-84, 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.
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.
- SACRAMENTO: 84
Feb 7 10:26 PM
- SACRAMENTO: 36
Feb 7 9:05 PM
- SACRAMENTO: 16
End of 1st
Feb 7 8:35 PM
- SACRAMENTO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 7 8:11 PM
- Timberwolves will not retain Newton, Kander May 20
- Towns, Porzingis unanimously selected to All-Rookie 1st team May 19
- After lots of losing, 76ers hope to win big in NBA lottery May 17
- Timberwolves' Towns is unanimous Rookie of the Year pick May 16
- T-wolves will send Towns with Flip's ring for lottery luck May 16
- Weekend Sports in Brief May 16
- AP Source: Karl-Anthony Towns is NBA Rookie of the Year May 15
- Kings' methodical coaching search ended with Dave Joerger May 10
- Zach LaVine wins NBA Cares Community Assist award for April May 9
- Kings hire coach Dave Joerger 2 days after firing in Memphis May 9
- A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press the Sacramento Kings have agreed to terms with Dave Joerger on a three-year deal to make him their new coach May 9
- Kings hire Catanella as assistant general manager Apr 28