Back Where It All Began: Lakers Take on Timberwolves in Minnesota

Starting Line-ups:

PG: Derek Fisher – Luke Ridnour
SG: Kobe Bryant – Wesley Johnson
SF: Ron Artest – Michael Beasley
PF: Pau Gasol – Kevin Love
C: Andrew Bynum – Darko Milicic

Kevin Love is currently standing at 46 straight double-doubles, the most since Moses Malone had 51 in a row. Love started his streak after losing to the Lakers on November 19th in which he was held scoreless by Lamar Odom’s defense. Love was also limited to a total of only seven rebounds.

Minnesota is currently on the bottom of the Western Conference. The Timberwolves won at home Sunday night against the Golden State Warriors in a high-scoring affair that finished with 249 total points from both teams. Rookie Wesley Johnson of the Wolves had a impressive game, connecting on four shots from downtown, four steals, and two blocks.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been on fire since the All-Star break with a four game winning streak to start the second half of the season. On Sunday the Lakers topped the Thunder in Oklahoma City by a narrow three points. Kobe Bryant had a poor shooting afternoon, but the rest of the purple and gold stepped up to play championship basketball. Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest, and Pau Gasol had a total of 44 points on 17 for 30 shooting. The Lakers also limited their turnovers to only 13.

Keys to Victory:

Utilize size advantage – The Wolves don’t have too much to offer off the bench against Lamar Odom, Bynum, and Gasol. If Love and Darko Milicic have to work for their shots against those three, L.A. should have the edge.

Wolves are careless – Minnesota leads the league in turnovers. Lakers need to make sure they take advantage of that tonight.

Rebound – Minnesota leads the league in rebounds and offensive rebounds. How so? Kevin Love of course. If Odom could shut him down once, he can do it again. This time, Lamar needs to do that off the bench.

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