Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from win over Sacramento Kings

Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives to the basket against the Sacramento Kings. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives to the basket against the Sacramento Kings. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves improved to 5-9 on the season with a home victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night at Target Center.

Minnesota Timberwolves ride second-half Big Three performances to victory

The Wolves followed up their last win, an impressive road win over the Los Angeles Lakers, with a clunker against the LA Clippers. Then, a hard-fought loss to the Phoenix Suns on Monday.

Thus far this season, the Wolves have largely played to their competition. Falling behind to a strong offensive team like the Sacramento Kings was a dangerous proposition, and thankfully, it wasn’t an issue.

The first half was ugly, with neither team shooting the ball well. The Kings struggled with turnovers, reaching double digits by halftime. The Wolves struggled to rebound the ball, allowing Sacramento to rack up second-chance points. Patrick Beverley was the only Wolves player in double-figures over the first 24 minutes. Ultimately, the Kings led 48-44 at the break.

The third quarter featured Karl-Anthony Towns getting on track and scoring a few easy buckets, followed by D’Angelo Russell taking a turn at leading the offense. The Wolves were a +9 in the third quarter and took a four-point lead into the final frame.

Anthony Edwards came to play in the fourth quarter, knocking down a pair of big 3-pointers and generally controlling things. The Kings continued to struggle offensively, and the Wolves were able to expand their lead gradually down the stretch, ultimately winning by double digits.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from win over Sacramento Kings

The Wolves’ Big Three played extremely well in the second half of this game. Let’s look at their performances, as well as one individual showing that was lacking.

Karl-Anthony Towns: B+

22 points (9-12 FG, 1-4 3P, 3-3 FT), 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 6 turnovers

Like most of the Wolves, Towns had a slow start to the game. But the Wolves used a variety of creative ways to free him up for shot attempts in the third quarter, and Towns got on track in short order.

Towns struggled a bit on the glass, although he didn’t get much help from his teammates, and he once again struggled with turnovers as he tried to get a bit too creative when passing out of the post. Overall, however, Towns had a strong performance and was a big part of the Wolves pulling away in the second half.

Anthony Edwards: A-

26 points (11-24 FG, 4-10 3P, 0-0 FT), 5 rebounds, one assist, one block, one turnover

Edwards also started slowly, but he entirely controlled the fourth quarter. After struggling mightily from beyond the arc, he hit a pair of timely 3-pointers late in this one.

Ball-stopping continues to be an issue, but when Edwards shoots the ball efficiently, it’s obviously not as big of a deal. In this one, however, Edwards somehow avoided getting to the free throw line at any point in this game

D’Angelo Russell: B

17 points (6-15 FG, 1-6 3P, 4-4 FT), 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, one block

Russell didn’t play all that well early, but came on strong late in the third quarter on both ends of the floor and hit a handful of big shots. He also distributed the ball adeptly in the fourth quarter and was ultimately a huge part of this win.

Malik Beasley: D

4 points (1-5 FG, 1-5 3P, 1-2 FT), 2 rebounds, one steal, 18 minutes

Beasley continues to struggle to get on track. Every one of his shot attempts in this one was a 3-pointer, and he missed 80 percent of them.

If the Wolves offense is ever going to get out of the bottom 10 in the league, they’re going to need Beasley to step up and become a legitimate fourth scoring option. Right now, he’s entirely unreliable and is not an option late in games.

Next. Wolves Power Rankings Round-Up, Week Four. dark

The Wolves turn around and host the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night in their second back-to-back of the young season.