Wolves sent to 10th-straight loss with historic collapse

Sacramento beats incredible odds to win 133-129 in overtme

January 28, 2020 - 3:16 am
Karl-Anthony Towns is upset

USA Today Sports


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The numbers are mind-boggling.

According to ESPN Stats and Info, since 1996-97 season, the first year of play-by-play data, NBA teams entered Monday 0-8,378 when trailing by 17 or more in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime.

The Timberwolves led the Kings by 17 with 2:49 left in the fourth quarter Monday night at Target Center.

The Kings won the game, forcing overtime and taking the 133-129 victory.

You can't make it up.

Andrew Wiggins had 36 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Timberwolves, who lost their 10th consecutive game.

With the Kings down three with 4.7 seconds left in regulation, De’Aaron Fox made his first free throw. He intentionally fired the second off the front of the rim, grabbed his own rebound and laid it in to tie the game with 3.6 seconds left.

That was after Buddy Hield shot the Kings back into the game. Hield grew up in the Bahamas idolizing Kobe Bryant, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash. He wears No. 24 in Bryant’s honor. After Monday’s game, he fondly recalled his first meeting with Bryant while playing in the Elite Eight with Oklahoma.

Monday he scored 18 points in the final 4:36 of regulation. His 42 points came on 24 shots. He was 9 for 14 from 3-point range. Hield is the third player ever to score 40 or more points and make nine or more 3-pointers off the bench. He joins J.R. Smith and Rodrigue Beaubois.

“I can’t wait until I have a son and tell my son about this game,” Hield said. “Tell my son about Kobe Bryant. I want to show him his highlights, but I’m going to show him that this was the guy that inspired me. This was the guy who inspired the world.”

The Timberwolves built their lead thanks to a franchise-record 23 3-pointers. Wiggins was 7 for 11 beyond the arc.

Robert Covington had 24 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 23 for Minnesota. It was the first time three Timberwolves have scored 20 or more points in a game since Dec. 13.

The final result was not the tribute to Bryant that Minnesota had in mind.

“I mean the loss of Kobe is something that we all think of,” Timberwolves guard Shabazz Napier said. “But the competitor he is, he would be upset with us, truly upset with us, and I think once you step on them lines all you’re thinking about is playing the game at the highest level. Today we did a dishonest to him, to the Minnesota Timberwolves organization, to the fans.”


Timberwolves: Guard Allen Crabbe did not play after suffering a left knee subluxation Saturday against Oklahoma City. ... Forward Jake Layman missed his 33rd consecutive game with a left toe sprain. Minnesota’s eight first-quarter 3-pointers tied a franchise record for 3s in a quarter. Minnesota hit 10 of its first 15 3-point attempts and shot 14 for 23 from 3 in the first half. That set a franchise record for 3s in a half.


The Timberwolves honored Bryant prior to tipoff with words from Towns, a video tribute and a moment of silence. Towns wore No. 24 and Covington wore No. 8 while being introduced as part of the starting lineup to honor Bryant. They donned their regular Nos. 32 and 33 before the opening tip.

To open the game, Minnesota took an 8-second backcourt violation and Sacramento took a 24-second shot-clock violation on the ensuing possession. While taking the 8-second violation, Wiggins placed the ball on the free throw line where Bryant scored to pass Michael Jordan for third place on the career scoring list on Dec. 14, 2014, at Target Center.


The Timberwolves play the Clippers in Los Angeles on Saturday to begin a two-game road trip.

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