Coming off their worst loss of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers again fell into an early deficit that they were unable to climb out of, resulting in a 108-86 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers dropped a third game in a row and fell to 1-5 without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo.
With Kyle Kuzma again unavailable because of a lower back contusion, Ivica Zubac received a start alongside JaVale McGee. His free throw represented the Lakers’ lone point until Michael Beasley entered off the bench and scored their first basket at 7:28.
At that point the Lakers trailed 15-3, and a Timberwolves’ 7-0 run created more separation. The Lakers then began to generate some offense but still trailed 35-19 at the end of the first.
Andrew Wiggins had 18 points early into the second quarter, surpassing his season average. Minnesota maintained their double-digit lead throughout the second quarter but a 10-3 run by the Lakers allowed them to remain with striking distance.
Unable to get their deficit down to single digits, the Lakers conceded a 13-6 run that allowed the Timberwolves to extend their lead to 19 points at halftime.
That grew in the third quarter, at which point Lakers head coach Luke Walton went to a lineup comprised of rookies and the bench unit. The group played with better energy and utilized a zone defense that stifled the Timberwolves some.
A mini run to close the third quarter pulled the Lakers to within 83-68 but they never managed to truly threaten over the final 12 minutes.
With responsibilities expanded because James and Rondo are out, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball both turned in underwhelming performances. Ingram scored just 13 points on 5-for-16 shooting, and Ball went scoreless though did have 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 23 minutes.
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