MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Guard J.J. Barea picked up the scoring slack with 21 points Friday and despite opening the season without two key players Minnesota downed Sacramento 92-80.
Barea, who won a championship two years ago while with Dallas, came off the bench to hit 6-of-11 shots from the field and all eight of his foul shots. The Timberwolves opened and closed strong in handing the Kings their second loss in as many games.
Minnesota was without Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio and likely will not have either player back in the lineup until the first of the year. Love, a member of the Western Conference All-Star team last year, suffered a broken hand in the offseason. Rubio underwent surgery last March to repair a torn knee ligament.
Minnesota got a boost with the return of Brandon Roy, who missed all of last season after announcing his retirement. He scored 10 points and had six assists in his comeback.
Minnesota had only a 77-74 lead with 5:53 to play, but closed the game on a 15-6 run.