Kings look to stay hot vs. Love-less 'Wolves

664768.jpg

Kings look to stay hot vs. Love-less 'Wolves

It's been six seasons since the Minnesota Timberwolves had a winning record after 25 games. If they are to achieve that feat again, they must do it without their best player.

Looking to move above .500 with a third straight victory, the Timberwolves will be without suspended star Kevin Love on Tuesday night when they host the Sacramento Kings, who are riding a season-high three-game winning streak.

Sacramento (9-15) is coming off wins over the Trail Blazers, Warriors and Hornets the past three games; its highest margin of victory was eight.

NEWS: T'Wolves star Love suspended vs. Kings

Minnesota (12-12), likewise, is coming off consecutive victories over New Jersey and Houston, and is in position to surpass the .500 mark after 25 games for the first time since 2005-06. The Timberwolves have averaged 106.8 points while winning three of four overall.

"It does feel good to be .500 right now, but we still want to come out and keep this thing going in the right direction," Love said.

The Timberwolves must do that without Love, who will serve the first of his two-game suspension for stomping on Houston's Luis Scola as the Rocket forward was lying on the floor during Minnesota's 100-91 victory Saturday. Though Love (25.0 points, 13.7 rebounds per game) has grown frustrated because he believes game officials have failed to consistently police some overly physical play this season, he apologized to Scola both after the game and in a statement issued by the team on Monday.

"I don't want to be known for that," said Love, who admitted he needs to do a better job of handling his emotions. "I want to be known as a stand-up guy who happened to make a mistake with a size 19 shoe and just move on. So everybody knows there were no ill intentions there."

As Love tries to move on from this incident, his teammates must go forward without him. Love had 33 points and 11 rebounds in Minnesota's 99-86 home victory over Sacramento on Jan. 16. Luke Ridnour added 25 points with nine assists in that contest.

Ridnour scored 22 while backcourt mate Ricky Rubio added 13 with 11 assists against the Rockets.

"We're just keeping our composure this year," said Ridnour, averaging a career-high 12.3 points.

The Timberwolves also will have forward Michael Beasley and backup guard J.J. Barea on the floor for this contest after the pair missed last month's win over the Kings.

The Kings had one of its lowest scoring games of the season at Minnesota, but has averaged 103.0 points during its current three-game winning streak.

The Kings shot 47.4 percent while overcoming an 18-point deficit to win 100-92 at New Orleans on Monday. DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points with 19 rebounds and Tyreke Evans scored 11 of his 20 in the fourth quarter as Sacramento outscored the lowly Hornets 31-14 in the final period.

Sacramento snapped a four-game road skid to improve to 3-11 away from home.

"We're just playing great basketball right now," Evans said. "We want to keep that up and try to be in the race for the playoffs."

Cousins, who has totaled 49 points with 39 rebounds in the last two games, could benefit from Love's absence even though he's combined for 34 points and 18 boards in four career games versus Minnesota.

Evans has averaged 23.4 points and 7.2 assists in the last five games, but he was held to nine on 3-of-11 shooting while posting 10 assists and eight rebounds at Minnesota last month.

Source: Kings have no interest in De'Aaron Fox-for-Kyrie Irving swap

Source: Kings have no interest in De'Aaron Fox-for-Kyrie Irving swap

SACRAMENTO -- The rumor mill never takes a day off. De’Aaron Fox and his Sacramento teammates were hit with a new round of speculation Sunday morning when a report broke out of Cleveland regarding the Kings interest in All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.

According to Sam Amico, the Kings are expected to offer Fox, along with veteran Kosta Koufos and possibly more for Irving, who is coming off his best season as a pro. The 25-year-old point guard posted 25.2 points and 5.8 assists last season for Cleveland and is under contract for two more seasons with a player option for a third year.

A league source confirmed to NBC Sports California that the Kings have no interest in dealing Fox, who they acquired with the 5th overall selection in June’s NBA Draft. The 19-year-old is considered the future of the franchise at the point guard position and according to the source, any rumor of the team offering him in a deal are false.

Published reports have Irving asking for a trade out of Cleveland. Sacramento was not on Irving’s short list of potential destinations and the likelihood of the Kings coming up with the assets to acquire the four-time All-Star are slim, unless they are willing to completely change course on their rebuild and gut their young core.

Source: Kings to sign Summer League standout to two-way contract

jack-cooley-kings-summer-league-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Source: Kings to sign Summer League standout to two-way contract

Jack Cooley must have made a good impression on the Kings during the recently completed Las Vegas Summer League.

The former Notre Dame will sign a two-way contract with Sacramento, a league source confirmed to NBCSportsCalifornia.com's James Ham.

Cooley averaged 9.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and shot 64 percent over five games during Summer League action.

Cooley had other offers from teams overseas, but is hoping for another shot in the NBA.

Undrafted in 2013, Cooley's only NBA action came with Utah during the 2014-15 season. He averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 16 games.

News of a deal was first reported by 2ways10days.com's Chris Reichert.