Willie Cauley-Stein had 25 points, Nemanja Bjelica scored eight in a row during a big run late in the third quarter and the Sacramento Kings beat the slumping Minnesota Timberwolves 121-110 on Friday night to spoil a huge game for Karl-Anthony Towns.
De’Aaron Fox added 16 points and 10 assists for Sacramento. Iman Shumpert scored 17 and Bjelica finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Coming off back-to-back losses to East powers Milwaukee and Toronto, the Kings led by 15 early in the fourth quarter but had to hold off a late surge by Minnesota to end a three-game losing streak to the Timberwolves.
Towns had a season-high 39 points and 19 rebounds on a night when Minnesota’s inconsistent offense sputtered much of the way.
The Timberwolves trailed by 14 midway through the fourth before Derrick Rose made consecutive 3-pointers to start a 12-0 run. Minnesota had a chance to tie the game but Jimmy Butler missed two free throws with 3:19 left.
Sacramento scored the next seven points to pull away.
Rose had 21 points, five assists and six rebounds. Butler was a game-time decision but played 41 minutes and had 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
The Timberwolves are 0-8 on the road.
Sacramento missed 11 of its first 14 shots and fell behind by 12 early in the first quarter. Cauley-Stein helped rally the Kings in the second, scoring eight points as Sacramento took a 63-61 halftime lead.
Towns made his first five shots and was 7 of 9 in the first quarter when Minnesota jumped out to a 12-point lead. He cooled off a bit in the second but made two 3s and had 29 points and eight rebounds by halftime.
Timberwolves: Two days after setting a franchise record with 20 3-pointers, the Timberwolves failed to find their stroke beyond the arc, going 7 for 25. . Andrew Wiggins (bruised right quad), Jeff Teague (bruised left knee) and Justin Patton (right foot) were held out.
Kings: Kosta Koufos made a 19-foot jumper at the buzzer to end the first quarter. . Bogdan Bogdanovic, who underwent a pair of left knee procedures in the offseason, was rested two days after making his season debut.
Timberwolves: Host the Nets on Monday.
Kings: Host the Lakers on Saturday.
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Source: The Associated Press