Jeff Teague scored eight of his 20 points in a third-quarter runaway Monday night as the Minnesota Timberwolves broke open a close game with a 34-17 burst on their way to a 118-100 victory over the host Sacramento Kings.
Playing for the second time without injured guard Jimmy Butler, Minnesota used balanced scoring to tip off an important three-game trip with a convincing win.
The Northwest Division leaders face two of their closest division rivals, the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz, to complete the trip.
Skal Labissiere had 20 points to pace the Kings, who completed a winless three-game homestand.
After a tight first half in which they built just a 63-60 lead, the Timberwolves gradually pulled away in the third period, getting scoring contributions from all five starters and two reserves.
Andrew Wiggins complemented Teague’s eight points with seven of his own, and Taj Gibson added six and Nemanja Bjelica five as Minnesota ran up a 97-77 lead.
The Kings got no closer than 17 the rest of the way.
Karl-Anthony Towns led all scorers with 26 points and all rebounders with 17 for the Timberwolves, who won a second straight game for the first time since beating Milwaukee and New Orleans on Feb. 1 and Feb. 3.
Towns hit nine of his 10 shots and Gibson shot 6-for-7 for Minnesota, which connected on 52 percent of its field-goal attempts.
Teague sank 11 of 12 free-throw attempts. The Timberwolves went 33-for-36 at the line, outscoring the Kings 33-12 from the stripe.
Teague also recorded a game-high seven assists.
Wiggins finished with 22 points, Gibson 15, Bjelica 12 and Gorgui Dieng 10 for the Timberwolves, who completed a three-game season-series sweep of the Kings.
Willie Cauley-Stein backed Labissiere with 17 points for the Kings, who lost a fourth straight game.
Buddy Hield had 16 points, De’Aaron Fox 13 and Bogdan Bogdanovic 11 for Sacramento, which lost despite making 47.6 percent of its shots.
—Field Level Media