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Sacramento Kings hand Wolves third straight loss
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SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Marcus Thornton scored 24 points and the Sacramento Kings used a strong second half to beat the slumping Minnesota Timberwolves 115-99 on Sunday.

The Kings were tied at halftime, but gained the lead for good by outscoring Minnesota 33-25 in the third quarter. Sacramento quickly built on its eight-point lead after three quarters and the Timberwolves trailed by double digits for much of the fourth.

Isaiah Thomas scored 18 points, John Salmons added 15 and Jason Thompson had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings. Chuck Hayes had a season-high 12 points and eight rebounds.

Kevin Love had his 33rd 20-10 game, scoring 21 points and getting 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, losers of three straight and four of five. Derrick Williams had 16 points and nine rebounds.

Minnesota, which is losing ground in trying to secure a berth in the Western Conference playoffs, is 1-3 on a seven-game road trip that concludes Friday in Oklahoma City.

The Kings ran off five straight points, including a dunk by rookie Tyler Honeycutt with just over four minutes left that brought the crowd to its feet. The surge put Sacramento in front 110-93 with 3:42 left.

It was the second straight victory for the Kings, who humbled the Boston Celtics 120-95. The Kings are now 4-3 on their franchise-high, nine-game homestand that concludes Thursday against Utah.

Ahead by eight points to start the fourth quarter, the Kings pushed the lead to 13. Hayes had the first four points of the quarter and Thornton made a jumper and added a 3-pointer a short time later, giving Sacramento a 99-86 lead at the 8:35 mark.

Tyreke Evans, the Kings' second-leading scorer, missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. Although they both were in uniform, reserves Francisco Garcia (sprained right wrist) and J.J. Hickson (back spasms) didn't play.

The Timberwolves started Darko Milicic at center in place of Nikola Pekovic, who is bothered by a sore left ankle. Milicic was ineffective, getting two points and no rebounds in just six first-quarter minutes.

Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins both had nine points in the third quarter for the Kings, who led 90-82 heading into the fourth. But Cousins also picked up his fourth foul and went to the bench with just over four minutes left in the period.

The Kings came out fast in the third quarter, producing a 12-4 run. Thornton made a pair of free throws and followed with a 3-pointer, putting the Kings ahead 69-61 at the 8:26 mark.

After missing the previous two games with a toe injury, Michael Beasley delivered off the bench against the Kings. Beasley made a 3-pointer on his first shot late in the opening quarter and continued shooting well in the second.

Salmons scored 13 points for the Kings, who outscored the Timberwolves 29-26 in the second quarter to pull even at 57-57 by halftime. Love and Beasley both had 11 points for Minnesota.

Notes: Cousins got off to a slow start, missing all five shots and getting one rebound in a scoreless first half. . Minnesota coach Rick Adelman, the Kings head coach for eight seasons, was given a big ovation during introductions. Adelman was fired after guiding the Kings to a 44-38 record in 2005-06. The Kings have not had a winning season since his departure. . Minnesota has had a 1-4 record since rookie point guard Ricky Rubio, who suffered a season-ending torn left ACL and will be operated on this Wednesday in Denver. . The Timberwolves made all 17 free throws and the Kings finished 19 of 21.