The Timberwolves were the last team in the Western Conference to play their first game as they opened for the 12th consecutive season at home and put together a masterpiece 92-80 win over Sacramento.
"Even when we were missing shots we maintained a five point lead," said head coach Rick Adelman. "It was important, end of the third quarter we got back ahead."
JJ Barea led all scorers with 21 points while Andrei Kirilenko scored 10 points pulled down seven rebounds and dished five assists. The team displayed a defensive grit that had Sacramento in fits all night long. The Wolves were also able to keep DeMarcus Cousins in check as he picked up his third foul early in the second quarter.
It didn't take long for the new guys to get aquainted with the fans inside Target Center. Brandon Roy assisted on the first four baskets and Luke Ridnour scored five quick points as the Wolves jumped to a 28-18 lead after the first quarter.
The reserves went on a run of their own in the first and second quarters. Led by JJ Barea's 10 points and Greg Stiemsma's six points, six rebounds and two blocks the Wolves extended their lead to a first half largest 18 points.
The Kings cut into the lead and trailed by only nine points at half. That trend continued into the second half as the Kings went on a 13-4 run to begin the second to take the lead with 6:40 remaining in the third quarter.
The Wolves finished the third quarter on a 12-0 run of their own to take a 70-65 lead to the fourth quarter.
"We got stops and I think JJ made some really good plays," said Adelman. "He made really good decisions and we were able to open it up again."
Steimsma finished the game with nine points, seven rebounds and four blocks in only 16 minutes of action. As a team, the Wolves blocked 10 shots feeding the defensive effort. Dante Cunningham and Derrick Williams tag teamed a solid effort in their first game playing for the injured Kevin Love. The duo combined for 15 points and 16 rebounds.
Isaih Thomas led the way for Sacramento with 20 points.
The Wolves hit the road for a back to back Sunday at Toronto then Brooklyn on Monday before returning home on Wednesday to face the Orlando Magic.