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Timberwolves face Kings looking to remain perfect at home

The Minnesota Timberwolves will look to continue their franchise-best start to the season when they host the Sacramento Kings on Friday night in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves are off to an 11-3 start, which is tops in team history and has propelled them to the top of the Western Conference standings. They are 7-0 at home. “Everybody’s here to win,” Timberwolves forward-center Naz Reid said. “Everybody has one goal. Everybody’s got their money situation out of the way.

Now we’re here to play basketball and win the game. We’re not really too much worried about anything other than that.” The Timberwolves’ next test will come against Sacramento, which is two games above .500 but is coming off back-to-back losses on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Kings were outscored by 36 points in their first loss to the Pelicans and lost by five points in the second contest. Kings guard De’Aaron Fox put the blame on himself for the disappointing outcomes.

Fox has been a huge reason for the team’s success this season, averaging 29.2 points on 48.7 percent shooting, but he said he needed to do more with the game on the line. “I just have to be more aggressive,” Fox said. “Obviously, they were blitzing ball screens, trying to get the ball out of my hands, but at the end of the day, I still have to be aggressive regardless of what the defense is throwing at me.” Kings coach Mike Brown appreciated the comments from one of his team’s best leaders. “(Fox) is 100 percent correct,” Brown said.

“He’s our guy and he’s got to be aggressive and he has to be more aggressive in a one- (or) two-possession ballgame going down the stretch, especially when we’re struggling to score.” The Timberwolves are led by Anthony Edwards, who is averaging 26.1 points on 46.7 percent shooting. Karl-Anthony Towns is Minnesota’s second-leading scorer at 21.6 points per game, while three others are averaging double digits. Edwards said the Timberwolves had a stronger focus in his fourth NBA season. “We ain’t coming here to play around,” Edwards said.

“We lost a lot of games that we were supposed to win last year, and it hurt us at the end of the season. So (coach Chris Finch) put an emphasis on that from training camp, like, we’re not messing around with teams we’re supposed to beat. … “It feels great. It feels good to come in here expecting to win. This is my fourth year. All three years, I never came in and Why Can Mankar Camoran Wear Amulet of Kings? was like, `Oh, we’re (going to) win tonight.’ “Every time we’ve got a shootaround and after we leave shootaround and I get into bed, I tell my girl, like, `We’re (going to) win tonight.’ Expecting to win is — I think it’s the best feeling.” The teams played each other four times last season, with Minnesota posting a 3-1 record.

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