The Los Angeles Lakers failed to earn their first win of the 2022-23 season, losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-102 on Friday night to close out their short road trip. The loss drops the Lakers to 0-5 as their nightmare start to the season continues.
With Anthony Davis out, the Timberwolves made an effort to get Rudy Gobert going early offensively and he delivered with six points. Russell Westbrook checked in off the bench for the first time this season, but it did not stop Minnesota from going on a 9-0 run.
Los Angeles’ half-court offense left much to be desired early, but LeBron James did manage to tide things over with a nice dish to Wenyen Gabriel and a fortuitous putback to cut the deficit to five. The bench unit led by Westbrook did a good job of seizing some momentum and the Lakers went into the second only trailing 28-25.
Jaylen Nowell’s energy shifted things back in Minnesota’s favor in the second as his activity in the painted area put Los Angeles back down 31-25. Kendrick Nunn looked much better offensively with his floaters, and after knocking down a 3-pointer, it kept L.A. within striking distance.
Westbrook picked up the pace on both ends of the floor, rebounding the basketball and even nailing a rare three to keep the Timberwolves lead at five. Westbrook found James for an emphatic dunk and the latter scored another layup before the quarter ended to leave the two teams tied 52-52 at halftime.
The Lakers and Timberwolves juggled the advantage to begin the third quarter as they answered each other’s made field goals. Minnesota was able to reclaim the lead, but Westbrook re-entered the game and gave the team the burst of energy the team needed to pull within two.
Anthony Edwards took charge for the Timberwolves offensively by scoring from a variety of spots on the floor, pushing their back up to seven. Lonnie Walker was able to score a couple of times in transition but L.A. would go into the final period down 78-75.
James finally got a foul call as he drove hard to the rim to complete an and-one opportunity, but a wild sequence that was devoid of whistles led to a a Minnesota three that halted any momentum for L.A. Karl-Anthony Towns started to get going as he hit jumpers and a floater near the paint, and free throws from Gobert made it an eight-point game.
Troy Brown Jr. was an unexpected source of shooting for the Lakers as he nailed consecutive threes to keep it within single digits. The Purple and Gold fought tooth and nail in the closing minutes but missed free throws and turnovers were enough to keep them winless.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!