Cousins was listed as questionable for the game but was declared out by coach George Karl earlier in the day. Cousins has cemented himself as one of the best big men in the NBA, averaging 27.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists to carry the Kings.
Veteran backup Kosta Koufos was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Cousins, who missed a chance to play against fellow Kentucky alum Karl-Anthony Towns. Koufos had 15 points and 15 rebounds, but the Kings sorely missed Cousins and suffered their 13th loss in 16 games.
"They're like two different teams,'' Timberwolves point guard Zach LaVine said about the Kings with and without Cousins. "He's such a big presence on their team that the whole offense probably is going to go through him a lot of the time."
Rajon Rondo was able to play while dealing with several ailments. He had 25 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.