If there’s one thing Lakers fans could rely on this year, it was that the would give you a spirited, competitive effort at home. Sunday evening’s match-up was far from competitive as the Wolves ran the Lakers out of the gym from the get-go. A pair of Kevins – Love and Martin – fueled the Wolves on the night, who scored 47 points in the first quarter, as they downed the Lakers easily, 113-90.
The Lakers were never truly in the contest. After pulling within three at 17-14, the Lakers were outscored 27-3 over a five-minute stretch to blow the game wide open. To the credit of the purple and gold, they never mailed it in, fighting back the whole night, but it was futile effort as the Wolves answered every Lakers run with one of their own, never letting them close the lead to less than 14.
Martin paced the Wolves on the night with 27 points on 11-23 shooting from the field and 3 of 5 shooting from the line. Love added 25 points, but also 13 rebounds and 4 threes on the evening. Ricky Rubio added a triple double with 12 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds. All five Wolves starters scored in double figures as they were responsible for 95 of the team’s 113 points.
For the purple and gold, Steve Blake topped the score sheet with 19 points on 7 of 11 shooting. He added 8 assists and 3 rebounds in a performance that showcased his effort, even late in a blowout. Jodie Meeks and Pau Gasol joined Blake in double figures, finishing with 16 and 11 points, respectively. Pau also added 11 boards as the only Laker in double figures in the rebounding category.
After the franchise-record setting first quarter for Minnesota, they kept the Lakers at arms length, never letting them get within less than 15. The third quarter saw the Wolves push the lead to 29 after a Martin basket, forcing a Lakers timeout. The Lakers showed their final signs of life, pulling themselves within 14 thanks to a 23-8 run to end the quarter. However, a quick 14-4 run in to open the fourth ended the Lakers hopes, sending them to their second consecutive humiliating defeat.
The Lakers also were without Steve Nash for the second half, who never made it out of the locker room after halftime due in part to back pain. He’ll visit a doctor on Monday to discuss further actions.
The Lakers have one day off before they get the Pelicans again, looking for redemption.