The Minnesota Timberwolves didn't have their usual stud big man in Tuesday's home defense against the Sacramento Kings, as Kevin Love was serving the first of a two-game suspension assessed for stepping on Luis Scola Saturday. But another hombre grande -- Nikola Pekovic -- stepped in to lead the Wolves to sweet victory as Minnesota edged Sacramento 86-84.
Sacramento got out to a terrible start for the second straight game. On Monday, the Kings trailed the New Orleans Hornets by 18 points in the first half, but were able to bounce back and ring up a rare road win. The Kings came close to repeating the feat in Minnesota, but a Donte Greene three-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out, allowing Minnesota to escape and climb over .500 at 13-12.
Pekovic not only scored 23 points with 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks, but was able to get DeMarcus Cousins into foul trouble, which limited the Kings' star to just 25 minutes. Cousins shot just 3-13 thanks largely to Pek's pressure. But Sacramento rode Marcus Thornton (22 points) and Jimmer Fredette (13 points in 17 minutes) to its comeback bid, one that came just short.