Preview: Timberwolves vs Kings 16 Jan 12

THE STORY: After one of the worst offensive games in team history, the Sacramento Kings complete the last of a five-game trip by taking on equally stunned Minnesota at Target Center on Monday night. The Kings were demolished by Dallas, 90-60, Saturday night. It was the fewest points scored by the Kings since a 101-59 loss at Charlotte on Jan. 10, 1991. The Kings shot 25.6 percent (22 of 86), the lowest in a game in the Sacramento era, worse than the 27.9 percent the Kings shot Dec. 28, 2008, against Boston. “When you come into the league, what you want to do is make shots,” said Kings coach Keith Smart, who is 2-4 since replacing the fired Paul Westphal. “When you’re not making those, you get down. When you get a collection of players doing that, the team gets down.” While the Kings struggled to score, Minnesota blew an 18-point lead and lost 93-91 at Atlanta. Ricky Rubio led the Timberwolveswith a season-high 18 points and 12 assists.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, Comcast Sportsnet (Sacramento), FS North (Timberwolves)

ABOUT THE KINGS (4-9): Not even the return of Marcus Thornton, who missed three games with a thigh bruise after a hard pick by Orlando’s Dwight Howard, could help prevent the Kings from suffering one of their worst performances in franchise history. Thornton had a team-high 14 points. He called the team’s performance terrible. “I don’t think an NBA team could shoot this bad ever again, including us,” he said. Thornton, who leads the Kings in three-pointers (20), has made at least one in each game he has played this season.

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (4-8): Minnesota coach Rick Adelman was brief in his postgame comments after the blown lead in Atlanta. “There’s something wrong,” he said. “I don’t have anything to say. Our guys did everything they could to win that game, and it just didn’t happen. That’s all I have to say.” Kevin Love, who leads the NBA with 12 double-doubles, also was cautious in his statements, hoping not to rile Adelman any more. “Eventually, we will get respect from you-know-who,” Love said. “I don’t want to get fined. I like my money; I want to keep it.”

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. The Kings’ 23 first-half points were a franchise low, two fewer than the 25 they scored against Boston in 1957, when they were the Rochester Kings.

2. Sacramento rookie Isaiah Thomas has made his last 18 attempts from the free throw line.

3. This is one of the closest series in the NBA, with the Timberwolves leading 43-42. The teams have alternated wins in the last seven matchups.

PREDICTION: Timberwolves 107, Kings 101.