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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, March 21st (All times Eastern)

Minnesota Timberwolves (23-42) at Sacramento Kings (24-44), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - In a matchup between two of the worst the Western Conference has to offer, the Sacramento Kings will entertain the Minnesota Timberwolves Thursday night at Sleep Train Arena.

The Kings have alternated wins and losses over the last six contests and are coming off Tuesday's 116-101 victory over the playoff-bound Los Angeles Clippers. Marcus Thornton scored 25 points and Toney Douglas added 19 for the Kings, who got 17 points apiece from DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans.

Thornton buried 6-of-10 3-pointers and Douglas hit 3-of-5 from downtown.

"It felt good," Douglas said of his performance. "It would have been just as good if somebody else would have hit them, as long as we win. If we win, I'm happy."

Sacramento made 50.7 percent of its shots and hit 14-of-28 3-pointers. Cousins has posted double-doubles in each of his last three games.

The Kings, winners of back-to-back games as the host, are 18-15 at home and will play three of four road games after hosting the Wolves.

Minnesota is mired in an eight-game road losing streak and opened a three-game western junket with Monday's 92-77 loss at Memphis.

Alexey Shved had a team-high 12 points, while Mickael Gelabale and J.J. Barea scored 11 points apiece for the Wolves, who have dropped 11 of 14 games overall and fell to 7-26 away from the Twin Cities.

"The first six to seven minutes of the third quarter they just jumped on us, and we never really responded the right way," said Minnesota center Nikola Pekovic, who had nine points and five rebounds in his second game back since missing eight in a row because of injury.

Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio left the game after coming down awkwardly on a fast break with about three minutes to go in the third quarter. He went to the locker room briefly with a minor groin strain. Rubio never returned and tallied just two points and two assists.

Rubio is probable against the Kings.

The Timberwolves will end the trip Friday at Phoenix and have taken the first two matchups with Sacramento this season. Minnesota has won four of the last six encounters with the Kings and has never swept a season series against them.

Despite a 97-89 victory at Sacramento on Nov. 27, the Wolves have still dropped seven of 10 meetings in California's capital city.

03/21 10:29:01 ET

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