Thompson scores 23 to lead Kings over T-wolves

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)—Jason Thompson(notes) let the Sacramento Kings know they could count on him.

He had 23 points and 13 rebounds to help the Sacramento Kings snap a four-game losing streak by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-100 Saturday night.

Tyreke Evans(notes) scored 18 points and Beno Udrih(notes) had 16 points and seven assists for the Kings, who had an NBA-worst 17 wins.

“When you look at how young our players are we came into the season not knowing who we could count on,” Kings coach Paul Westphal said. “Our bench really gave us a big lift tonight. When Sergio (Rodriguez) and Beno came in, it seemed like it gave us extra quickness out there. And (Jon) Brockman and Kenny Thomas(notes) were all over the boards.”

Al Jefferson(notes) had 26 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota, which has lost four straight and is 3-21 overall under rookie coach Kurt Rambis. Corey Brewer(notes) scored 16 points, Kevin Love(notes) had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Ramon Sessions(notes) also scored 14 points.

The Kings had 49 points from their bench and have scored 100 or more points in 17 of their last 19 games.

“We’re a young team and we have to learn to play the proper way,” Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis said. “The Kings are a young team that wants to get up and down the floor, so we got caught up trying to play too fast. We lost our focus and attention to details.”

The Timberwolves managed to cut the lead to 68-66 early in the third quarter when Westphal nearly signaled for a timeout, but decided to let the Kings figure it out on the court. They did, closing out the quarter with a 29-11 edge in building a 20-point lead.

“You can’t always do that with a young team, but I thought it was a good time to try and let them figure it out,” Westphal said. “I had confidence they would make things happen.”

Notes: Evans is on pace to join LeBron James(notes), Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson as the only NBA players to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in their rookie seasons. … Timberwolves starting F Ryan Gomes(notes) hurt his ankle late in the second quarter and didn’t return … Sergio Rodriguez(notes) had nine assists in his first nine minutes, but didn’t get another one in his final 12 minutes on the court. … Minnesota is 1-11 on the road.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Minnesota
A. Jefferson Al Jefferson
12-19,  26 Pts
11 Rebs, 2 Assists
 Sacramento
J. Thompson Jason Thompson
11-17,  23 Pts
12 Rebs, 3 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

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Rebounds
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Saturday, Dec 12