Tuesday night in Indianapolis, Rudy Gay apologized to his Kings teammates.

The loss that night to the Indiana Pacers wasn’t solely Gay’s fault. It’s hard to blame only one player in a team game, especially a game in which the Kings trailed by as many as 29 points.

Gay, however, felt he needed to acknowledge his part in the loss.

“I didn’t play well at all,” he said. “I didn’t play well offensively or defensively. I wasn’t a presence. I didn’t rebound. I was just out there.”

Wednesday night, Gay had no reason to apologize. He scored a season-high 33 points and helped prevent a late collapse by the Kings in their 111-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center.
In the first half, Gay got the Kings going with 22 points. And when the Kings threatened to blow a 14-point fourth-quarter lead, he hit a 3-pointer with 19.5 seconds to play to give them a 107-102 lead.

Gay also had six assists, five rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.

“There’s still more I could have done,” he said.

Gay’s all-around performance impressed Kings coach Michael Malone.

“To his credit, he’s such a pro,” Malone said. “… He felt he didn’t show up, and for (Wednesday) for him to come out and get 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting, six assists and five rebounds shows you his versatility and his efficiency as a basketball player.”

The Kings (14-23) have won four of their last five games. Gay is averaging 23.8 points and shooting 59.5 percent (44 for 74) over that span. The only game in that stretch in which he failed to score at least 20 points was the loss at Indiana, where he had 12 points.

“Before I left the hotel, I knew I had to come out here and perform for my teammates,” Gay said.

Gay’s efforts helped the Kings survive a shaky fourth quarter. Minnesota (18-20) shot 44.3 percent overall but scored 35 points in the fourth quarter on 56.5 percent shooting.

The Kings led 102-91 with 3:18 to play before the Timberwolves went on an 8-0 run. Sacramento took shots early in the shot clock, did not execute out of timeouts and fouled unnecessarily late to help Minnesota stay close.