Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from win over Sacramento Kings

Anthony Edwards celebrates with D'Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Anthony Edwards celebrates with D'Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Sacramento Kings for the second time this season in another all-offense affair.

86. 120. 84. Final. 134

The Minnesota Timberwolves came into the game ranked No. 28 in defensive rating. The Sacramento Kings were ranked No. 30.

Is it any surprise that this was an offense-heavy affair that finished with 154 total points in a regulation-length, 48-minute game?

The Wolves leaned on a red-hot first quarter from Anthony Edwards that helped the Wolves hang tough as the King dropped 43 in the opening frame. D’Angelo Russell came in hot as well, putting up 26 of his 28 points in the first half, the second-highest scoring half that he’s ever had in his NBA career.

Minnesota surged ahead in the second quarter, only to watch the Kings go on a 17-8 run to close the first half, pulling the score even at 74.

The third quarter and the first half of the fourth quarter featured several lead changes, but the Wolves took control around the midway point in the final frame. Minnesota leaned on Karl-Anthony Towns to intiate a quick 7-0 run, and the Wolves led by six with four-and-a-half minutes remaining.

Suddenly, the lead was double-digits, and Towns and Anthony Edwards put the finishing touches on in the closing minutes.

Notably, Minnesota’s defense tightened up late, only allowing 17 points in the fourth quarter to a Kings team that scored with ease over the first three quarters and came into the game No. 12 in offensive rating.

Minnesota Timberwolves Player Grades at Sacramento Kings

A. Karl-Anthony Towns started somewhat slowly as Hassan Whiteside and the Kings defense were intent on denying the catch in the post, and the Wolves were happy to let Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell dictate the action. Towns ended up getting his, however, hitting a couple of big 3-pointers, getting to the free throw line, and distributing to teammates out of the mid-post. He finished with 26 points (9-17 FG, 4-9 3P, 4-6 FT), 18 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks... Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

A-. This was a weird game from Anthony Edwards. He was explosive in the first quarter, scoring 16 points and knocking down three 3-pointers. The second and third quarters were quiet for the rookie, but he returned to the party in the fourth and was a big part of the Wolves’ offensive attack as they pulled away in the final minutes. Edwards finished with 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting and 5-of-12 outside the arc. He also added four rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a block.. Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. ANTHONY EDWARDS

JADEN MCDANIELS. A. Jaden McDaniels was fantastic, defending with intensity and effectiveness throughout the night and scoring 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He was active in transition, getting a couple of easy buckets after contesting and releasing on defense, and he also pulled down six rebounds in 30 minutes. This was a perfect complementary game from the rookie forward.. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves

B. Ricky Rubio had a solid game, leading the team with 11 assists and adding six points on 3-of-8 shooting. While he missed all three of his 3-point attempts, he had a key fourth-quarter bucket and was solid on defense against a potent Kings offense.. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. RICKY RUBIO

Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE. A-. Josh Okogie continued his recent string of strong play. Per usual with Okogie, it started on defense, where he did a great job helping to slow down the trio of Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, and De’Aaron Fox. Offensively, Okogie scored 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. He missed all three of 3-point attempts but was solid in transition and scored all of his baskets at the rim.

Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. D'ANGELO RUSSELL. B+. It was a tale of two halves for D’Angelo Russell. D’Lo dropped a rapid 26 points in the first half, including 18 points in his first nine minutes of playing time. He gave much of it back on defense, however, and the second half saw him score only two points. Russell ended up with a plus-minus of -1 in 25 minutes in a game in which the Wolves won by 14. Still, his offensive display in the first half was stirring — he scored 28 points on 13 shots, after all — and the pairing with Towns moving forward is going to be nearly impossible for opposing defenses to stop.

A. Naz Reid continued his strong stretch of play since rejoining the bench unit after Towns’ return. Reid scored 10 points on five shots and added four rebounds and his plus-minus of +11 was the best of any bench contributer.. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. NAZ REID

Other Notable Minnesota Timberwolves Players

Jarred Vanderbilt only scored two points and pulled down four rebounds, but his 14 minutes were typically active and he wreaked havoc on the game in a positive way.

Juancho Hernangomez was 0-of-4 on 3-point attempts and just 1-of-4 at the free throw line but still added five points, two rebounds, and two assists in 16 minutes.

Jordan McLaughlin played one of his better games of late, scoring six points on a perfect 2-of-2 from outside the arc and adding five assists and a steal. He was a +6 in 13 minutes.

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Next up for the Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves stay in Sactown and will take on the Kings at 9 p.m. CT on Wednesday.