The Minnesota Timberwolves (38-37) played the second game of a crucial back-to-back last night against a very hot Sacramento Kings (45-29) team. Because the game was on the road, the Timberwolves were a consensus underdog. Because it was back-to-back, the Timberwolves opted to sit just-returned power forward Karl-Anthony Towns out for this one.
KAT is still recovering from a strained lower right calf muscle, and the team is taking no chances of overtaxing his muscle, causing excessive fatigue which could result in a relapse or even reinjury. And so, the same player who was the hot-handed shooter in the past two games for the Timberwolves, the guy who shot the final decisive points, would be sitting this one out.
Wolves need a hero
Without those Karl-Anthony Towns last second heroics, the Timberwolves had to figure out a new way to win at the wire. The Sacramento Kings are having an incredible 2022-23 NBA season, and hosting the Timberwolves at the cusp of clinching their first playoff spot in a very long time. The Kings needed one of three things to happen:
I – Defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves
II – Phoenix Suns lose
III- LA Clippers lose
So with so many options, and only need one of three events to take place, surely the Kings would end the night as the next NBA Playoffs team, right? If the Kings defeated the Timberwolves, not only would the Kings clinch a playoff berth, but would be assured of hosting the first round of the NBA Playoffs.