The Timberwolves hope to end an 11-game road losing streak Wednesday night when they face the Kings at Arco Arena.
Wins anywhere have been hard to come by recently for the Timberwolves (28-38), but they’ve been particularly rare on the road, where they haven’t won since a 101-87 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 27.
Minnesota’s road woes continued Tuesday with a 108-90 loss to Pacific Division champion Phoenix despite an outstanding game from Kevin Garnett, who had 30 points and 16 rebounds for his league-leading 57th double-double.
Garnett shot 11-of-20 from the field while the rest of the Timberwolves combined to go 23-of-66.
Minnesota is 9-24 away from home this season. Only Golden State, Seattle and Memphis have fewer road wins.
Tuesday’s loss was the fifth in six games overall for the Timberwolves, who are 8-18 since coach Dwane Casey was fired and replaced by Randy Wittman.
“The panic button has been hit,” Garnett said. “We’ve got to win these last two bar none. I don’t know how to say it anymore. The urgency is there if we’re trying to make the playoffs.”
Minnesota is 2 1/2 games behind Golden State for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“I’m motivated right now for the playoffs, and that’s my goal personally,” Garnett said. “If I lead, hopefully they’ll follow, and half the time they will.”
The Kings (29-38), on pace for their worst season since going 27-55 in 1997-98, trail the Warriors by two games.
Sacramento lost the final two games of a three-game homestand before dropping the first three on a five-game road trip. A victory at Orlando Saturday ended the five-game skid, but the Kings couldn’t maintain their momentum after falling 99-76 at Atlanta on Monday night.
“Just a good old-fashioned butt-kicking, really,” said Sacramento’s Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “I don’t know how else you can explain it other than that. I don’t really know the reason. There’s no realistic excuse that you can feel good about.”
“This game is disappointing, but we still have a chance to make a run to the playoffs, so we can’t worry too much about it,” Artest said on the Kings’ official Web site.
Starting center Brad Miller left the game after scoring two points in the first quarter with plantar fascia. The injury has been a recurring problem all season for Miller, who has been held to less than 10 points in four of his last five games.
The Kings lost their first game of the season at Minnesota on Nov. 1, but have won the past two meetings. Sacramento had lost five straight at home to the Timberwolves before ending that skid with a 93-81 victory on Nov. 6.