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(Sunday, March 16th)
Final Score: Minnesota 104, Sacramento 102
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Martin scored a game-high 31 points and Kevin Love added 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves edged the Sacramento Kings, 104-102, on Sunday.
Martin was 14-for-14 from the free throw line and Love went 9-for-15 from the field.
Gorgui Dieng recorded his first double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds and also added five blocks and Ricky Rubio had 12 points and nine assists for the Timberwolves, winners in three of their last five.
"Gorgui came in and played well with the double-double. He got more comfortable as the game went on," said Wolves head coach Rick Adelman.
Dieng replaced Nikola Pekovic in the starting lineup. Pekovic sat out with an ankle injury.
Isaiah Thomas poured in 27 points to go with seven assists and six rebounds and Derrick Williams finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Kings, losers in five of their last six games.
"Another tough road loss," said Sacramento head coach Mike Malone. "I was really hoping we'd pull this one out. We gave ourselves a chance."
With the setback, Sacramento was officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins missed the game with right knee tendinitis.
The Wolves led 94-89 after Love split a pair of free throws with 3:13 left, but the Kings scored six straight to take a 95-94 lead with 1:26 to go.
Love then buried a 3-pointer with 1:07 left to put the Wolves up for good. Rubio stripped Thomas on the other end and split his free throws to make it 98-95, and after the Kings missed three straight shots, Martin knocked down a pair of free throws for a 100-95 lead with 16 seconds left.
Thomas hit a 3-pointer to cut the King's deficit to two with 13 seconds left, and after two more Martin free throws, Thomas knocked down another triple with six ticks remaining to make it 102-101.
Martin added two more from the stripe to make it a three-point game and the Wolves fouled Thomas on the ensuing inbounds pass. Thomas made the first and intentionally missed the second and the Kings fouled Dieng with a second left. He missed both attempts but Sacramento was unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer.
Minnesota led 32-29 after 12 minutes, but trailed 54-53 at the break. The Wolves carried a 77-74 lead into the final frame.
"It was a good win to get, we started off great and after the second quarter it was back and forth," Adelman said.
Dieng started for the first time and played a career-high 37 minutes ... Martin made his 1,000th career 3-pointer ... Sacramento's bench outscored the Minnesota reserves 45-13.
03/16 23:49:37 ET
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