Steve Nash finally made his long-awaited return to the hardwood, but the Lakers still could not withstand their opponents losing 109-99 to the Timberwolves.
Kevin Love proved his worth as an All-Star by producing 31 points on 8/19 shooting from the field and pulling down 17 rebounds for his 40th double double this season. Kevin Martin added to the scoring tear with an additional 32 points. Point guard J.J. Barea also breached double figures tonight with 11 points, and Ricky Rubio commanded the floor with 13 assists.
Minnesota jumped on the Lakers from the opening tip scoring 38 points in the first quarter, then another 30 in the second. The Wolves also proved to be the more dominant team in the paint by out rebounding the Lakers in every quarter and outscoring the them down low 34-30.
The injury ravaged Lakers received a small lift today regaining Steve Nash in their starting lineup, but immediately suffered the loss of both Jodi Meeks and Jordan Hill in the first quarter. They then trailed by as much as 25 for the rest of the game. Although the Lakers did end up dropping the deficit to 84-91, they could not continue their push in the fourth to surpass the T-Wolves.
Steve Nash had a solid return (considering his return from injury) with 7 points and 9 assists. Nick “Swaggy P” Young scored 24 points on 4/12 shooting and had a strong showing at the foul line going 13/14. Wesley Johnson also had a solid performance off the bench dropping 15 points and pulling down 9 rebounds, and Manny Harris also almost had a double double with 19 points and 8 rebounds.
This marks the seventh straight loss for the Lakers coming just shortly after their loss to Charlotte the previous Friday. Steve Nash returns. Pau Gasol (groin) sidelined tonight. Jodi Meeks (ankle) and Jordan Hill (head injury) both go out due to injury in the first quarter. Manny Harris’s contract with the Lakers is up after this game.