The Lakers finished up their quick two game road trip with a matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers hoped to bounce back from a loss to the Bucks Thursday night. Injuries shortened the Lakers roster once again as Xavier Henry sat out the game tending a sore right knee. Mike D’Antoni tweaked his starting line up for the game and inserted Kent Bazemore in favor of Wesley Johnson.
Nikola Pekovic started hot and scored the first six points for the Timberwolves. The Lakers started cold and only made two of their first nine shots and fell behind quickly 20-4. Poor transition defense and costly turnovers allowed the Timberwolves to extend their lead to 19. The bench was able to get some points on the board, but the defense couldn’t get a stop. Kevin Love punished the Lakers with 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Nick Young led the Lakers off the bench behind his three three-pointers. The quarter ended with the Lakers down 24-41.
The Lakers defense still couldn’t find away to stop the Timberwolves and fell behind 58-30. The Lakers couldn’t find any baskets and shot only 12 percent during the first seven minutes of the quarter. Jordan Hill finally stopped a Laker drought and sank a fifteen footer with 3:10 left in the quarter. The Lakers interior defense was abused by Pekovic who muscled his way to 19 points. Ryan Kelly sank a three right before Ricky Rubio closed the half by converted on an and-one at the rim. The Lakers entered the break trailing 74-43.
The second half started much like the first played out. While the Lakers were able to get out of their cold spell, the Timberwolves continued to score easily. A quick 6-0 Laker run in the final two minutes was answered by Dante Cunningham jumper. The score gave Kevin Love his tenth assist of the night, and Love grabbed a rebound as the quarter expired to give him a triple-double. Love finished his night with 22 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds. Jodie Meeks led the Lakers in scoring with 15 points, and the Lakers ended the quarter down 111-77.
With the game well in control, the Timberwolves emptied their bench for the fourth quarter. Meeks added four points to his total by hitting a pair for free throws and a layup. The Lakers continued to let the Timberwolves score at will in the paint, and the Timberwolves lead was never threatened. The gap remained around thirty despite the Laker effort. The Lakers would ultimately lose by a score of 143-107.