The long road trip continues for the Los Angeles Lakers with the team traveling up north for the second showdown of the season against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kobe Bryant and company started the season off with a hard-fought battle against the Timberwolves at the Staples Center. Ricky Rubio had a career night against the Lakers scoring 28 points and dishing out 14 assists. Rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell had no answer for the Spanish import as Rubio helped lead Minnesota to their first win of the season.
Despite leading by as much as 16 points, the Lakers fell apart late in the game and conceded the victory to the up-and-coming Timberwolves with a one-point loss.
On Wednesday, the Lakers will try to get back on track at the expense of Timberwolves in Minnesota at the Target Center. The Timberwolves are 8-12 on the season and are starting to work their way up the Northwest standings in hopes of catching up to the first place Oklahoma City Thunder (13-8). The Lakers (3-18), however, only want to be on the winning side of things with their sights set on their fourth win of the season.
Veteran Kevin Martin started things off for the Timberwolves with a layup that was followed up by a mid-range jumper from Kevin Garnett. Rookie Karl-Anthony Town increases the lead to six with a jumper of his own. Kobe Bryant and Jordan Clarkson countered with a pair of jump shots to cut the lead to two. Clarkson finished with a crafty left-handed layup to tie the game at six. Martin scored again with a jumper over Lou Williams. Ricky Rubio hit a pair of free throws. Bryant scored his fifth point of the game with a three. Martin hit yet another shot connecting on a three. Towns hit a tough shot in the post over Larry Nance Jr. Kobe made hit his third consecutive basket. Towns scored again off a Rubio assist. Williams converted on a jump shot. Wiliams made one of two free throws. Andrew Wiggins got a 19-foot jumper to go down. Clarkson and Towns traded buckets. D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young entered the game. Julius Randle scored his first bucket of the game after grabbing his own rebound and putting it right back up. Randle scored again with a mid-range jump shot. Russell got on the board with an easy layup. Randle drew the foul and finished strong at the rim and hit the free throw that followed. Randle continued to dominate in the paint with another bucket inside. Robert Sacre headed to the line and knocked down one out of two from the charity stripe. Shabazz Muhammad ends the quarter with a layup to put the Timberwolves up, 35-32.
Sacre connected on a 16-foot jumper to get the second quarter underway. Muhammad responded by scoring two points of his own. Randle made a couple free throws to increase Lakers’ point total to 37. Muhammad continued to get going with another easy bucket. Timberwolves lead by two, 39-37. Marcelo Huertas came up with the steal and assisted a Kobe jumper. Zach LaVine got on the board with a jump shot. Nemanja Bjelica drew the foul and finished a difficult shot under the basket. Bjelica missed the freebie. Muhammad threw down the jam to increase Minnesota’s lead to six. Sacre connected on a free-throw jumper. An easy jumper hit by Williams. Muhammad couldn’t be stopped with the UCLA product hitting another shot with ease. Clarkson with yet another crafty layup. After some sloppy play by both teams, Williams scored his seventh point with a layup. Wiggins threw down a dunk with ease after a Lakers collapse on defense. Williams hit another shot to tie the game at 49. Clarkson, noticeably limping with an ankle injury, finished high off the glass with a layup. Martin scored his ninth point followed by Bryant with his 11th. Nick Young with the long ball resulting in a three-point lead. Towns continue to show why he was the top pick in the draft with a jump hook. One of two free throws made for Williams. LaVine hit a driving bank shot. Minnesota ended the quarter leading the Lakers, 59-57.
Martin starts the third quarter off by hitting a 20-foot jumper. Rubio dished to Garnett for the easy two. Wiggins kept the run going with five-footer. Hibbert finally got the Lakers on the board in the quarter with a shot inside the paint. Rubio missed the first free-throw attempt and made the second. Williams hit his first three of the game to improve his total to 13. A mid-range jumper from Hibbert cut the lead to three. Towns’ soft touch in the paint increases lead to five. Martin hit a pair of free throws. Hibbert also connected on a pair of freebies. Towns continued to be a problem for the Lakers with the rookie hitting another layup. Williams split a pair of free throws. Randle also split two from the charity stripe. Towns scored his 20th point at the line. Lakers and Timberwolves continued to trade free throws with Muhammad connecting on two. Russell got to the basket while drawing the foul and finishing. D’Angelo hit the free throw. Lakers cut the deficit to five, 80-75. Wiggins extended lead to seven. Randle scored 13th point of the game with a free throw. Russell buried a three. LaVine attacked and finished with a layup. Russell hit a second consecutive shot. The third quarter came to an end with Minnesota leading Los Angeles, 84-81.
Kevin Martin is the first one to score at the start of a quarter once again. Martin hit a jumper and a free throw that followed. Huertas assisted Young on a three-pointer. Randle cut Minnesota’s lead to one with a six-footer. Young hit another jumper to give the Lakers the lead, 88-87. Martin countered with a three. Sacre with an easy dunk ties the game at 90. Young stayed hot hitting his fourth shot of the game. Randle scored on a goaltending call. Lakers lead increased to three. Martin again fired back with a three to tie the game at 94. Huertas nailed a big three to retake the lead. Russell connected on a smooth jumper to give the Lakers a five-point lead. Martin hit yet another three. Gorgui Dieng hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 99. 11th time the game had been tied. Red-hot Martin scorched the net once more with another three. Timberwolves retake the lead, 102-99. Sacre scored his seventh point of the game. Minnesota’s increased the lead to three with two free throws from Towns. Martin hit an easy bucket in the paint. D’Angelo hit two free throws to cut the deficit to three. Russell hit one of two free throws. Dieng converted on two free throws to extend the lead to four. Towns with a jumper. D’Angelo countered with a clutch three. Wiggins perfect at the line after hitting his sixth free throw. Five-point lead for Minnesota with about a minute and a half left in the game. Russell nailed another clutch three to bring the Lakers within two. Towns and Russell went back and forth with the number one overall pick drilling a long two. Clutch shot by Williams cuts the lead to two. Another clutch shot by D’Angelo tied the game at 114. Missed shot by Wiggins sends the game into overtime, 114-114.
Wiggins and Martin started the overtime period combining for five points to give Minnesota the lead. A three from Williams cut the lead to two. Randle tied the game at 119 finishing at the rim off a spin move to the baseline. After a foul from Russell, Rubio hit two free throws giving the Timberwolves the lead yet again. Young threw up a quick shot off the glass to tie the game. Wiggins countered with a layup. Randle took it strong to the basket and drew the foul. The second-year forward missed the first and made the second. Lakers lose after shot attempts by D’Angelo Russell and Roy Hibbert as time expires.
Final Score: Los Angeles Lakers 122, Minnesota Timberwolves 123