The Los Angeles Lakers were without star big man Anthony Davis due to a strained calf, but the depth on the team made it a complete non-factor against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who themselves were shorthanded.
Kyle Kuzma led six Lakers in double-figures as they ran through the Timberwolves 127-91. The Wolves, who went into the game undefeated at 2-0, were also without their star big as Karl-Anthony Towns suffered a dislocated wrist in their previous game.
Unlike L.A., Minnesota didn’t have the other players to make up for his absence. Adding more insult to injury, the Lakers donned their classic blue jersey that was reminiscent of the franchise’s time in Minneapolis and a first season in L.A.
Kuzma got the Lakers off to a roaring start with 14 points in the first quarter, including four 3-pointers. He was also extremely active on defense as he added two blocks in that quarter and had three on the night to go along with three rebounds and three assists.
The other star of the night was undoubtedly Marc Gasol, who really got going during his stretches in the second and third quarters. Gasol had far and away his best game as a Laker with 12 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four blocks.
Gasol’s passing was a thing of beauty as he set up multiple teammates for easy layups and also knocked down 3-of-3 from 3-point range, showing the multiple different ways he can affect the game.
LeBron James only had to play 26 minutes, and in fact no Laker was on the floor for 30 which is great considering the team was on the frontend of a back-to-back. James battled through a turned ankle in the second quarter to finish with 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists on the night.
The Lakers got 58 points from their bench, led by 12 from Talen Horton-Tucker and 11 from Montrezl Harrell. Only one of the 14 Lakers who played failed to score, which was two-way player Kostas Antetokounmpo. He still had four rebounds and two blocks in eight minutes on the floor.
As a team the Lakers shot 55.6% from the field and knocked down 13 threes. They also assisted on 32 of their 50 made field goals and blocked a ridiculous 14 shots, helping hold Minnesota to just 36.9% shooting from the field.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers don’t have much time to enjoy their victory as they host Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and the Portland Trail Blazers on the second night of a back-to-back on Monday.
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