In what could have been forecasted considering they were coming off a double-overtime game, the Los Angeles Lakers fell behind early to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second of their back-to-back. While the Lakers made a game of it, they fell, 114-96.
The loss extended their season-worst losing streak to seven and was the Lakers’ 10th in the 11th past games. Minnesota started the game on a 14-0 run, which prompted Lakers head coach Luke Walton to substitute for his entire starting unit.
Out came Tyler Ennis, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle. In came Jordan Clarkson, Alex Caruso, Corey Brewer, Larry Nance Jr. and Andrew Bogut, tasked with cutting into the deficit.
The lineup change did provide a spark, with Brewer and Clarkson combining for 11 points. The Lakers 30-18 at the end of the first quarter, and though they scored 30 points in the second, still trailed by 12 points at halftime.
Kyle Kuzma helped pulled the Lakers to within single digits of the Timberwolves on multiple occasions in the third quarter. But Minnesota had an answer each time and led 91-76 heading into the fourth quarter.
Clarkson scored eight straight points but L.A. didn’t pose much of a threat over the final 12 minutes as they never got within single digits.
Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 28 points, making each of his 11 free throws. Andrew Wiggings had 21 points and Karl-Anthony Towns chipped in with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Gorgui Dieng was effective off the bench for Minnesota, scoring 17 points while making seven of eight shot attempts.
Clarkson led the Lakers with 20 points off the bench, and Ingram had 14 points. Randle’s third straight start produced another double-double in 15 points and 12 rebounds in 28 minutes of action.
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