The Minnesota Timberwolves couldn't stop the bleeding. The bleeding that's been going on since 2007! The bleeding that was 19 losses to the Lakers, ago. Minny dropped a 19th straight game to the Lakers as L.A. tied their longest winning streak of the season (at 5-straight games).
The Lakers had pushed the lead to as many as 18 points, but in the final two minutes of the contest, Minnesota was able to cut it to single digits. But ultimately they ran out of time in this one as they tried to 'play the fouling game' with under 20 seconds remaining. A three by Webster with just a couple ticks on the clock gave us a final: Lakers win 92-97.
Kevin Love played through wit a sprained thumb, Michael Beasley sat out with a toe injury. New Laker Ramon Sessions made his debut, Jordan Hill didn't however (because Derek Fisher hasn't had his physical yet--deal technically not official, yet).
Minnesota falls to under .500 with this loss: 22-23 and to 10-11 on the road. The Lakers improve to 28-16 on the year and are now an NBA-best 18-2 at home.
Let's take a look at some of the individual statistics from tonight's game for each team...
If the Timberwolves had gotten more scoring out of someone besides Kevin Love & Nikola Pekovic, the outcome may have been different. It's incredible that Love's 25-15 games are becoming routine, but Pek dumping in 20-10 is becoming commonplace as well! Luke Ridnour had another great game with another double-double 12-11 and turned the ball over....0 times!
The "Big Three" were key and the knockout punch was 17 from Matt Barnes off the bench in 20 minutes. He scored 10 in the second quarter & 7 in the fourth quarter. Kobe was Kobe, he did his most damage with 9 in the first quarter and 11 in the third quarter.
Let's take a look at the team stats from tonight's game...
The biggest differential (and keys to the TWolves loss/Lakers win). 3PT%, the Lakers shot 46% compared to 18% for Minny. The TWolves bench misses Michael Beasley as they were outscored by a +12 for L.A. Ultimately without Matt Barnes performance/Lakers' three-point percentage the TWolves would've won this won.
Evidence of that? Minnesota won the battle of the boards, 55-47 by a +8. They had more fast break points (a +2). A +14 in points in the paint as well as less turnovers leading to less opponent points!
That's all for now. The TWolves are back in action Sunday in Sacramento vs. the Kings. Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!