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Hudson, Timberwolves top sloppy Kings with late run

Nov 2, 2006 - 3:50 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The Sacramento Kings were in a giving mood, and Troy Hudson and the Minnesota Timberwolves took advantage.

Hudson scored eight of his 15 points in a decisive fourth-quarter surge as the Timberwolves rallied for a 92-83 victory over the sloppy Kings in the season opener for both teams.

Kevin Garnett scored 24 points for Minnesota, which kept its cool as Sacramento saw a pair of players ejected in the second half - neither of them Ron Artest - and committed a staggering 12 turnovers in the final period.

"For the most part, everyone came out with a lot of energy. Home opener, everybody's hyped and you have to expect that," Garnett said. "But for the most part, I felt like we had two good halves of basketball, and more than that, I think we had depth in our team and that's something we haven't had in a while, so that's good. It's a good win for us."

The Kings committed just six turnovers in the first three periods, then had giveaways on five consecutive possessions to spark an 11-2 run by the Timberwolves.

"Obviously the turnovers hurt us down the stretch. But I told the guys in the locker room that we were really proud of their effort," said Eric Musselman, who coached his first game for the Kings. "I thought our guys worked the glass extremely well and rebounding is a determination of how hard you're playing."

Hudson capped the spurt with a 3-pointer to give the Timberwolves a 79-73 lead with 5:03 remaining. Overall, the oft-injured combo guard made 6-of-12 shots and handed out three assists.

"It was great to be out there, to really have the chance to help the team in a positive way," Hudson said. "The last three years, I was out there, but it didn't feel good because I couldn't be myself."

"I've just been waiting on (Hudson) to get healthy, he's a great player," Minnesota guard Ricky Davis said. "That's what we need with him."

Garnett sank 7-of-9 shots and 10-of-10 free throws. The perennial All-Star added 12 rebounds and three assists for the Timberwolves, who shot 49 percent (35-of-72).

In the third quarter, Kings forward Maurice Taylor was ejected for a second technical foul for rough play. In the final period, guard Mike Bibby also was tossed for arguing as Sacramento fell victim to the NBA's new "no tolerance" policy with referees.

Bibby injured his right thumb in a preseason game and the team thought he would miss the first two weeks of the season. However, the veteran point guard played with a brace supporting his injury.

"Anytime you lose a player like (Bibby), it's going to hurt us, but we just need to step up in those kinds of situations," Kings guard Kevin Martin said. "He wasn't even expecting to play tonight, and for him to get out there and give everything he has with a stress fracture, it shows a lot about him."

Martin scored 23 points and Artest added 16, 12 rebounds and four assists for the Kings, who shot just 35 percent (31-for-89).

"Basically it was just a bad game for everybody," Artest said. "But we kept playing a total game, with how we rebounded the ball, and defensively. This was a real encouraging game for us."






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