Kings are hardly royalty, but Wolves bow

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 22, 2011 - 8:37 AM

Last-place Sacramento enjoyed a rare rout at the Wolves' expense, dominating the stat sheet as well as the Target Center intensity meter.

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Even in a season filled with frustrations, this was a low point.

And this is coming from the folks who were at Target Center on Sunday. The Sacramento Kings, the only team in the Western Conference with fewer victories than the Timberwolves entering the day, proceeded to paste the Wolves 127-95.

The 32-point home loss tied for the second-worst in franchise history.

"We're like Jekyll and Hyde," said forward Anthony Tolliver, speaking for his teammates, most of whom had gone by the time the media hit the locker room. Kevin Love left the game in the second quarter with a sore left groin and didn't return. The team did not immediately have an update on his condition. He was long gone, as was Michael Beasley, who scored 13 points on a sore left hip.

"We go from playing so well the last game against one of the best teams in the league [the Lakers] then getting blown out by one of the bottom teams. ... We all have to be professionals. Part of being a professional, playing in this league, is you have to learn how to play every game the same. And, unfortunately, we don't. A lot of guys on this team just don't bring it every night."

Love, who looked to be hampered a while before leaving the game with 3:18 left in the second quarter, finished with zero points and three rebounds. But, as coach Kurt Rambis said, the way his team was playing, having Love and Beasley healthy probably wouldn't have made that much of a difference. The Wolves made 25 turnovers, and the Kings scored 33 points off them. Sacramento outrebounded the Wolves 47-27 and outscored them in the paint (50-36) and on the break (20-6).

"They're all looking at it as what do we have left to play for?" Rambis said. "And we're explaining to them there is every opportunity -- whether it's practice, or a shootaround, or a game -- to get better. And we lost that opportunity [Sunday]."

There was one spark. Down 15 with 3:03 left in the third, Wolves guard Luke Ridnour and Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins shoved each other, and were both assessed technicals. They kept jawing, then Nikola Pekovic stepped in between them. Ultimately Cousins shoved Martell Webster and was ejected.

"I yelled at everybody after that," Tolliver said. "I was like, 'Is this what it takes to get people's attention, people almost fighting?' "

Over the next few moments the Wolves whittled the lead to six. But Samuel Dalembert (26 points) scored the final four points of the third quarter, then the Kings scored the first 17 of the fourth. Spark gone.

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