DeAaron Fox

Kings go ice cold from deep in tough loss to Timberwolves

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The Kings' abysmal 3-point shooting sealed their fate well before their last-ditch effort at a miracle comeback fell short in the final minutes of a 110-98 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday at Golden 1 Center.

Sacramento shot 8 for 33 on 3-point attempts in Saturday's loss, a final tally that was partially salvaged by a strong finish where the Kings drained five of their final nine shots behind the arc over the final 13 minutes of the game.

The Kings inspired hope that they could overcome their dreadful shooting night, roaring back into the game with a 17-2 run in the fourth quarter that cut the Timberwolves' 22-point lead to seven with just over three minutes remaining.

However, Sacramento dug themselves into a hole over the first three quarters of the game that ultimately proved too big to overcome, highlighted by their brutal perimeter shooting that saw them start 3 for 24 beyond the arc.

Until Chris Duarte's 3-pointer with 57 seconds remaining in the third quarter, De'Aaron Fox and Keegan Murray were the only Kings players with a made 3-pointer, while the rest of the team combined to shoot 0 for 17 beyond the arc over that span.

Despite the poor performance from the 3-point line, Kings coach Mike Brown revealed after the game he was content with his team's shot selection, while tipping his cap to the Timberwolves' defense playing a role in affecting the rhythm of Sacramento's shooters.

"I thought we took pretty good shots throughout most of the night that didn't go in," Brown told reporters. "But you have to give them credit. They are long. They're long and they're athletic and they fly around.

"You feel a little more pressure to get that shot off a little bit quicker, even though they're not going to block most times a perimeter 3-point shot, but they make it tough on you and this is a game you got to go in with a lot of mental resiliency because [there's] no telling what can happen throughout the course of the game with their length and the way they scramble, and the protection they have at the rim."

Fox led all Kings players with 27 points, but faced similar struggles beyond the arc while shooting just 3 for 11 from deep in Saturday's loss. Following the game, Fox echoed a similar sentiment as Brown, highlighting how Minnesota's length disrupted Sacramento's offensive efficiency.

"They have length, obviously you have Rudy [Gobert] at the rim." Fox said. "So they try to force you into some tough shots, and they're long and athletic. They get you off the line and obviously having Rudy back there kind of makes you think twice about getting to the rim. Lot of rearview contests and they're very active."

Sacramento scored the first basket of the game, but 2-0 would be the only lead the Kings held in a game where the Timberwolves dominated both ends of the floor.

Facing one of the NBA's best teams on the second night of a back-to-back is a daunting task in and of itself, but the Kings also had to trudge forward without one of their most important pieces as Malik Monk missed Saturday's game against Minnesota with a foot injury.

Even with the tough loss to the Timberwolves, the Kings can hold their heads high after posting a 4-2 record over a six-game homestand at Golden 1 Center. Sacramento will aim to correct its shooting woes when the Kings are back in action against the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday night at Moda Center.

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