Timberwolves edged by Sacramento 106-103
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins may not have scored as many points as Minnesota Timberwolves counterpart Kevin Love on Sunday night, but he had the most important ones.
Cousins and rookie guard Ben McLemore combined to make four free throws in the final 12 seconds, and Sacramento edged Minnesota 106-103 at Sleep Train Arena.
Cousins, who finished with 35 points, also rammed home a baseline dunk with 24.2 seconds left to extend two-point lead to 102-98. He added 15 rebounds, including one on Love's final miss, to post his eighth consecutive double-double.
Love, the NBA's leader with 63 double-doubles, scored 43 points and grabbed 11 rebounds after returning from a one-game absence caused by a hyperextended elbow. He canned 12 of 23 shots from the floor in 38 1/2 minutes.
The Kings (28-53) snapped a five-game losing streak, and they matched their 2012-13 win total.
The Timberwolves (40-40) failed to record their 41st win, which would give them at least a .500 record for the first time since 2004-05.
Cousins, who added six assists, recorded his 53rd double-double, the third most in the NBA. He also extended the Sacramento single-season mark that he set week when he surpassed Chris Webber's 2000-01 total of 50. He also passed Kings forward Vlade Divac for eighth place on Sacramento's all-time scoring list.
Kings guard Isaiah Thomas returned from a 10-game absence caused by a deep bruise in his right thigh muscle and scored 14 points in 30 minutes. Thomas showed that his thigh was considerably better by making an acrobatic, left-handed hook from the right side of the key and blowing past Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio on a dribble drive in the game's early moments.
McLemore added 19 points, and forward Derrick Williams had 13 in his first start in a month for Sacramento, which played without forward Rudy Gay (back) for the third time in four games. Forward Reggie Evans also did not play for Sacramento.
Minnesota guard Corey Brewer, coming off a 51-point, six-steal contest on Friday in a 112-110 victory over the Houston Rockets, scored only 10 points on 2-for-8 shooting in 30 minutes.
Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng scored 21 points, and forward Luc Mbah a Moute had 12.
NOTES: Fans at Sleep Train Arena gave Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman a standing ovation when he was introduced before the game. Adelman, who is dropping hints that he may retire after the season, remains the most successful coach in Sacramento Kings history. He guided the Kings to eight consecutive playoff appearances from 1998-2006. The team has made the playoffs 10 times in its 29 Sacramento seasons. ... The teams split the four-game season series. ... Minnesota will miss the playoffs for the 10th straight season, and Sacramento will be absent for the eighth year in a row. ... Minnesota G Corey Brewer joined Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Rick Barry and likely future Hall of Famer Allen Iverson as the only players to record at least 50 points and six steals in the same game when he did so Friday against the Houston Rockets. ... F Derrick Williams made his first start in 17 games and 14th for the Kings in place of F Rudy Gay. He joined Sacramento in a November trade that sent F Luc Mbah a Moute to Minnesota.