Los Angeles Lakers lose to Timberwolves in return of Rajon Rondo

Los Angeles Lakers, Brandon Ingram (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers, Brandon Ingram (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves despite the return of Rajon Rondo.

Going into this game, the Los Angeles Lakers got some great news that point guard, Rajon Rondo, would be returning to the lineup after missing a handful of games with a fracture in his finger.

It was a great sight to see and Rondo wasted no time making his presence felt right  away.

Other than Rondo being inserted into the starting lineup, Ivica Zubac saw his role shift, as he too was inserted into the starting lineup for this matchup.

And it was apparent that Rondo was going to go to Zubac early and establish that connection that worked so well in their Christmas day matchup vs the Golden State Warriors.

Rondo was active early getting his teammates involved and just running the offense at a level that the Lakers have really been needing for a while now.

Having Rondo back certainly injected energy into this Lakers team and it showed from the start.

Rondo stayed aggressive knocking down two 3-pointers in the first quarter including a fast break dunk which we don’t see from Rondo very much.

Even when the second unit came in, they played with pace and energy especially Michael Beasley who scored two quick buckets in his first few minutes on the court.

Overall, they played well in the second half and even managed to keep the Timberwolves under 30 points in the first quarter, something that the Lakers have routinely given up to many opponents in the first period.

In the second quarter things stayed the same for the most part.

However Josh Hart’s shooting woes continued as he was 0-2 from behind the arc in the first half, but was still attacking the basket to make up for his shooting slump, something that I think he has to do more especially when his shot is not going down.

Kyle Kuzma shared in some of his shooting difficulties shooting just 2-for-9 from the field in the first half and missing all four of his three point attempts.

But the second unit managed to keep pace and keep the game close with Svi Mykhailiuk knocking down two 3-pointers in the quarter as the Lakers went into the half with a 61-56 lead.

The Lakers started off the third quarter struggling to protect the paint  and allowed the Timberwolves to mount their offensive early.

In the quarter, Brandon Ingram scored six points and was more aggressive driving to the basket and with the combination of him and Lance Stephenson, the Lakers were able to stay afloat for the most part.

The most glaring thing was seeing former Laker Loul Deng, who saw ten minutes of action in the third quarter score seven points on 3-for-4 shooting from the field.

I’m sure Laker fans have very fond memories of the brief time Deng spent as a member of the Lakers.

In the fourth quarter, the Timberwolves scored five early buckets and Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins asserted himself to start the quarter with two early buckets including a ferocious put back dunk.

Brandon Ingram, however, answered back with his own buckets down the stretch, including a spin move in the post to the basket for a dunk.

The Lakers were down by as many as 10 points, but Josh hart made his first 3-pointer of the game in the fourth quarter and the Lakers looked to start a comeback run.

Unfortunately things were halted when JaVale McGee was called for a Flagrant 1 for an inadvertent elbow on Wolves forward Dario Saric that resulted in blood pouring from Saric’s mouth.

Down the stretch, the Lakers were getting good shots, but were getting crushed on the offensive glass and were struggling to get stops. with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins knocking down shots late in the 4th, things started to get out of hand for the Lakers.

All in all, the Lakers would go on to lose this game 120-105.

For some odd reason, I’m not even mad at the Lakers for losing this game.

I don’t know if that’s because I’m getting accustomed to watching the Lakers lose, or I’m just realizing that the Lakers are not playing under the most ideal circumstances.

Regardless of the reason, the Lakers are slowly but surely dropping in the standings as they wait for LeBron James to make his return to the lineup. And there is starting to become a genuine fear that the Lakers might actually miss the playoffs this season.

Next. 3 Players that could be on the move to make room for Melo. dark

The NBA Trade Deadline is approximately 13 days away and we have not heard a peep from Magic Johnson or Rob Pelinka. I’m sure Lakers fans would love to know what those two are thinking but hopefully we will get an idea of their intentions sometime in the next 2 weeks.

In the meantime, lets continue to count the days until LeBron James makes his return to action.

That’s all we can hope for.