Rajon Rondo returned after missing the past 14 games and provided an early spark but the Los Angeles Lakers still faltered, suffering a 120-105 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The loss was the Lakers’ third in a row and dropped them 1.5 games back of eighth place in the West.
Rondo had eight points, two rebounds and four assists while playing just under 10 minutes in the first quarter. He exited with the Lakers leading 26-22, which was erased as the second unit struggled.
Minnesota stretched their lead to six points early in the second quarter before the Lakers got back into it. While Rondo was key in orchestrating the offense, Kyle Kuzma endured a rough shooting night.
Perhaps related to the bothersome hip he received treatment on the day prior, Kuzma missed his first five shots. The Lakers nevertheless took a 61-58 lead into halftime, only to have it slip away as the Timberwolves began to take control on the offensive glass.
The momentum they generated in the third quarter, which Luol Deng was part of, contributed to a 12-0 run to start the fourth. Even after the Lakers ended their drought, Andrew Wiggins’ slam dunk put the Timberwolves ahead by 14 points.
Josh Hart’s 3-pointer pulled the Lakers to within six points but the Timberwolves responded with another run to take control of the game.
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