The Timberwolves managed to take care of their warmup game in Sacramento before heading out to Portland. Unlike the last meeting between these two teams just a couple of weeks ago, the Wolves were able to handle the Kings with ease and go on to win 118-100.

    The game had a good pace going through the first half, with both teams trading baskets and the general feel resembling more of a practice game. Each team was running their offense with minimal resistance, the whistles were few and far between and the score continued to run up.

    It wasn’t particularly exciting basketball, per say, because both teams were able to just run their normal offense. There were not huge runs or massive defensive plays. There were no signature dunks or breakaways, it was just clean basketball (albeit with no defense).

    The Kings, playing with a shortened rotation (Zach Randolph, Vince Carter and Garrett Temple all resting), just seemingly got bit by adjustments. Going into halftime the Wolves led 63-60, but coming out of the half held the Kings to just 40 points.

    Buddy Hield was the Kings best scorer in the first half, with 13 points, but was held to just three points in the second half.

    On the other side the Kings just couldn’t find a way to slow down any of the Wolves’ starters. Each starter had at least 12 points, with three over 20 points.

    Karl-Anthony Towns just dominated Willie Cauley-Stein all night, missing just one shot total. He finished with 26 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks on 9-of-10 shooting and 8-of-8 from the line. He didn’t take a 3-pointer tonight, but he didn’t need to. He had a couple of really nice passes, including one to Gibson.

    Gibson scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting and was able to out-muscle Skal Labissiere in the paint for great positioning. He added five rebounds, two assists and a block to his stat line.

    Jeff Teague had an up-and-down game. On offense he scored 20 points with seven assists, four rebounds and was 11-of-12 at the line but only 4-of-14 from the field. On defense he found himself out of position a few times and getting beat by the speedy De’Aaron Fox a few times. Overall this type of game is fine most nights.

    Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, while Nemanja Bjelica stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists, four steals and two 3-pointers.

    As a team the Wolves only attempted 16 3-pointers, making seven, but they really didn’t need to take more because they were able to carve up the Kings inside the paint. The Wolves scored 52 points in the paint and 33 points at the free throw line, both well above their season average.

    They shot an excellent 52 percent overall, 43.8 percent from beyond the arc and 91.7 percent at the line with only 12 turnovers and winning the rebound battle by 11. Not many teams will lose with team stats like that.

    The Wolves are now 2-0 without Jimmy Butler. Granted, they’ve faced off with two of the worst teams in the NBA, but they have seemingly floated past the initial shock of the injury and are poised to face the final tough stretch of their regular season.

    Starting this Thursday the next eight games are versus teams over .500, four coming on the road and four at home. This isn’t likely going to decide the fate of the season, but it can make things real tough on the Wolves should they struggle. With 18 games left, coming out of this next stretch in a position to compete is paramount.

    That quest begins on Thursday in Portland.

Fantasy News

  • Robert Covington
    SF, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Robert Covington (right knee) is not expected to hav any limitations heading into training camp.

    Covington had an arthroscopic surgery in April after missing 47 games last season due to a bone bruise on his right knee.

    Source: Chris Hine of the Star Tribune

  • Jeff Teague
    PG, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Jeff Teague (left ankle) is not expected to have any restrictions for training camp.

    Teague had a left ankle debridement procedure in April to help alleviate inflammation. Teague's ankles have given him trouble throughout his career and he only played 42 games last season. With a clean bill of health Teague will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing season.

    Source: Chris Hine of the Star Tribune

  • Derrick White
    PG, San Antonio Spurs

    Derrick White has reportedly passed the first concussion test after taking a nasty fall in Team USA's tuneup game vs. the Australian Boomers on Saturday.

    This is good news. White has worked hard for his Team USA roster spot and should provide some guard depth for them once he clears concussion protocols. He was an eye-opener last season and should still hold some fantasy value despite the return of a now-healthy Dejounte Murray.

    Source: Tom Orsborn on Twitter

  • Kyle Kuzma
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Kyle Kuzma (sore left ankle) will not take part in the FIBA World Cup as Team USA announces its final roster.

    Kuzma sat out Team USA's final tuneup against Australia on Saturday as Marc Stein reports that he is flying back to Los Angeles to get treatment. We should still expect him to be ready for training and congrats to Mason Plumlee for making the team as many speculated that he would be the final cut.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Kemba Walker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Kemba Walker scored 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting with four rebounds with two assists as USA Basketball had it's 78-game winning streak in tournament and exhibition games snapped on Saturday.

    Walker continues to assert himself as the team's best player but USA losing to Australia was the much bigger story in this one. Harrison Barnes also played well as he chipped in 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go with six rebounds. USA will take on Canada on Monday in their last exhibition before taking on the Czech Republic in the first official match of the tournament on September 1.

    Source: USAB.com

  • Derrick White
    PG, San Antonio Spurs

    Derrick White left Saturday’s game after tripping and hitting his head on the floor.

    White left without help but there is no word yet on whether he is dealing with a concussion. He finished with eight points, hitting 6-of-7 three throws in nine minutes with another update sure to come. The third-year guard put up top-125 per-game value, playing 25.8 minutes in his second season. Even with the return of Dejounte Murray, White should still be worth a roster spot in most standard leagues.

    Source: Jeff Garcia on Twitter

  • Marcus Smart
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Marcus Smart, sidelined for almost three weeks with calf tightness, returned to action on Saturday as USA lost to Australia in their exhibition.

    Smart only played nine minutes in this one but still managed to score 7 points with three assists days after being named one of the team’s co-captains. Coming off an NBA All-Defensive First Team selection, he produced top-100 per game fantasy value as it seems he may have finally fixed his shot after shooting under 40 percent from the field in his first four seasons. He also produced a career-high in both steals and triples with 1.8 and 1.6 respectively as his career seems to be on the up and up.

    Source: USAB.com

  • Patty Mills
    PG, San Antonio Spurs

    Patty Mills went off in the fourth quarter and finished with 30 points as Australia beat USA 98-94.

    Although it was only an exhibition, it was still a huge moment for Mills and the Australian team in front of a huge crowd as they handed the US team their first loss since 2006. Mills was serenaded with MVP chants as Joe Ingles also played well with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting with four rebounds and seven assists while Andrew Bogut came off the bench for 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists in 20 minutes, shooting 7-of-8 from the field.

    Source: USAB.com

  • Kyle Kuzma
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Kyle Kuzma is out for Team USA's tuneup up game vs. Australia with a sore left ankle.

    Kuzma is being held out of this one for precautionary reasons. There's clearly no need for USA Basketball to risk him further injuring the sore ankle. This does not sound like a serious injury and should not affect his fantasy ADP on draft day.

    Source: USA Basketball on Twitter

  • Dwight Howard
    C, Memphis Grizzlies

    Dwight Howard has agreed with the Grizzlies on a buyout, and will sign a non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers.

    The Lakers are giving Howard an opportunity to be fantasy relevant. When given minutes, Dwight can produce double-doubles with the best of them, but he has been changing teams for years now. He will be worth a gamble at the end of your draft if camp with the Lakers goes well, but this is a non-guaranteed deal, and he only played nine games last season.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter