When Minnesota went off for 47 points in the first quarter en route to an easy win early in the season in Los Angeles, it’d be safe to say that would be the Timberwolves finest performance against the Lakers this season. That was merely a warm-up to what Kevin Love and company did to the Lakers Friday night. After a triple-double from Love, 26 points from Nikola Pekovic, and double digit scoring from seven Timberwolves, little was left in question as the final buzzer sounded, leaving the Lakers with an embarrassing 143-107 defeat. In a cruel dose of reality, that barely ranks among the worst margins of defeat this season.
It was evident early on that the ‘Wolves, who are fighting for a playoff spot, would not fall victim to the “player hating” Lakers. Storming out of the gates with a 17-4 run to start the game set the tone early, with with Pekovic and Love scoring 13 of the points. The lead was 17 after one quarter, thanks in part to a silly foul at the end of the quarter by Wes Johnson on a desperation three-point attempt from Love, leading to three free throws.
The second quarter was much of the same, as Minnesota used a 22-2 run to further demoralize a Lakers squad that is playing for pride. The halftime score of 74-43 did little to fully explain how lopsided the contest was, with Love and Pekovic a combined 10 of 13 from the field for 34 points, nearly outscoring the Lakers themselves.
Merely a formality, the second half was much of the same tone, with the ‘Wolves leading by 34 after the third and Love already accomplishing his triple double of 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. To their credit, the Lakers played hard to close out the fourth, but it was far too little, far too late.
Kent Bazemore led the way for the Lakers with 21 points with 4 assists and 3 steals on the evening. “Mr. Consistency” Jodie Meeks had 19 points and Sacre finished with 14 points and 7 boards. However, for a team looking to prove they aren’t the worst Lakers team in history, this loss – and many others – will dictate otherwise. Jordan Hill, who was red-hot coming into the night, posted just 10 points and 7 rebounds and was a virtual non-factor in the contest. Steve Nash, making a bit of a surprise appearance, played just 15 minutes and 4 points and 6 assists.
The Lakers look to rebound in their quest to 30 wins as they host the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night. Tip-off is set for 9:30 Eastern, 6:30 Pacific. Tune in to Lake Show Life for all the info leading up to and following the contest.