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The Wolves' loss to the Kings was historically bad

No team, since 1996-97, had blown a lead that big that late in a game.
Author:
Andrew Wiggins

Of the 1,483 games the Timberwolves have lost in 31 seasons as a franchise, the stunning way they fell at home to the Sacramento Kings Monday night might be the worst of them all. 

The Wolves went from shooting the lights out to getting their lights knocked out in an epic comeback by the Kings, who rallied to win 133-129 in overtime after trailing by as many as 27 points, including by 17 late in the fourth quarter. 

According to ESPN Stats & Info, it was a historically bad loss. 

"The Kings trailed the Timberwolves by 17 points with 2:49 left in the 4th quarter. Since 1996-97, the first year of play-by-play data, NBA teams entered the day 0-8,378 when trailing by 17 or more in the final 3 minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime."

It's the 10th straight loss for the Wolves, who have now endured two double-digit losing streaks since the beginning of December and are an NBA worst 5-24 since Thanksgiving. 

The backbreaking play of the night was a sensational execution of an intentional miss on a free throw by Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox, with the ball ricocheting perfectly off the rim back to him for an easy, uncontested layup to tie the score at 119-119 with under four seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. 

The impossible loss came after Minnesota honored Kobe Bryant before the game. Bryant, 41, was among nine people killed in a helicopter crash west of Los Angeles on Sunday. 

"I mean the loss of Kobe is something that we all think of," Wolves guard Shabazz Napier said, via ESPN. "But the competitor he is, he would be upset with us, truly upset with us, and I think once you step on them lines all you're thinking about is playing the game at the highest level. Today we did a dishonest to him, to the Minnesota Timberwolves organization, to the fans."

Sacramento outscored the Wolves 33-11 over the final 5:42 of the fourth quarter, led by Buddy Hield's 42 points off the bench, including 18 in the final five minutes. 

Minnesota hit a franchise record 23 threes, including seven from Andrew Wiggins who finished with 36 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 23 points and Robert Covington hit six triples en route to 24 points. 

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