Preview: Winners of two in a row and three of four, the Wolves were only 2½ games out of a tie for the eighth spot in the Western Conference heading into league games Thursday. While this is an indication of a lack of depth in the conference this season, it also shows that, despite a slow start, there could be a lot of meaningful games in the Wolves’ future. The Wolves’ victory over Phoenix on Monday ended a seven-game home losing streak. The Wolves lost in Sacramento 106-103 Oct. 29 in a game they led by 18 early in the second quarter. Sacramento has warmed up of late, winning two straight, three of four and four of its past six games.
Players to watch: Wolves G Zach LaVine has shot 17-for-36 (47.2 percent) on three-pointers over his past five games. G Ricky Rubio has averaged 9.3 assists over his past four games. C Karl-Anthony Towns equaled season highs in rebounds (18) and assists (five) Wednesday in Atlanta. Kings F/C DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points in the Kings’ victory over Minnesota Oct. 29. He is third in the league in scoring (29.0). F Rudy Gay had 28 in that game, including the late go-ahead basket.
Injuries: Kings F Omri Casspi (illness) and Gay (right hip) are doubtful.