Here are three takeaways from the Kings’ 121-110 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night at Golden 1 Center:
Former Wildcats go wild
Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein has referred to Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns as “Little Bro” from their season together at Kentucky.
There was nothing little about either big man’s game Friday.
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Each of the former Wildcats lit up the scoreboard, especially Little Bro. Towns had 29 points at halftime and finished with 39 points and 19 rebounds. Cauley-Stein shot better than Towns, finishing with 25 points while going 11 for 16 from the field, including just the fourth 3-pointer of his career.
Nemanja Bjelica opened the season on a tear, averaging 15.6 points in the Kings’ first nine game.
However, he scored just four over the next two contests, including going scoreless in Sacramento’s home loss to Toronto on Wednesday.
The man affectionately known as Belly was back to his scoring ways Friday. He scored eight consecutive points for the Kings in the third quarter, then motioned the crowd to get fired up as Sacramento outscored Minnesota 29-20 in the period and led by 11 after three.
He finished with 14 points and also had eight rebounds, two blocks and a steal against the team he played with for three seasons before signing with Sacramento in the offseason.
Bjelica told The Bee in a previous interview that playing with the Kings has given him a chance to show off his full game.
“I just to spend more time on the court to show that I can do some things on defense, too,” he said. “I’m more than a shooter and now I can show that finally.”
Fox the facilitator
De’Aaron Fox is the Kings’ second-leading scorer, averaging 18.7 points a night coming into this game.
He’s been called the team’s best player by his coach and teammates and helps set the pace for Sacramento (7-5).
Against the T’wolves (4-9), he showed why he’s been asked to lead the way, spending most of his time looking to set up his teammates.
Fox took just seven shots and scored 14 points, but he led all players with 10 assists, his third game this season with double digits in that category. He also didn’t turn the ball over, the first time all season he’s done that.