The Wolves got off to a decent start in this one. I'm sorry, let me rephrase that...The Wolves got off to an incredible start in this one. Minnesota scored 47 points in the first quarter which set a new franchise record for most points in any quarter. Those 47 points were just three points shy of tying the NBA-record of 50 points.
The "Kevins" Show hit Hollywood and as the first quarter wound down with the Wolves up 24 points and that's when we heard the boo birds flutter down from the rafters at the STAPLES Center. There truly is no better sound to hear in an opposing arena, than the home fans booing their team after a terrible quarter. The "Kevins" combined to score 34 points in the first quarter (18 for Love & 16 for K-Mart).
Minnesota shot 76.2% from the field (16-21), 77.8% from deep (7-9) and 80% from the line (8-10) in the first quarter. Ricky Rubio also had 7 of his assists in that first quarter!
The Wolves took their foot off the gas in the second quarter. They certainly got complacent with the lead and just didn't play as hard on either end of the floor. The Lakers outscored the Wolves 20-25, but with how poorly the Wolves shot (9-26 in the second quarter--34.6%) they should have been able to cut into that lead more than they did.
At halftime the Wolves were shooting 53.2% from the field, they led in fast break points 15-7 and points in the paint 24-20. Love had 20 points & 11 rebounds in the first half and that is the ninth time in his career that he's posted 20 & 10 in a half. Martin added 19pts on 8-of-15 shooting.
It looked as though Adelman was going to play his starters for seven or eight minutes in the third quarter and then turn it over to his bench as the Wolves should've secured a large enough lead to get guys like Gorgui Dieng, Shabazz Muhammad & Robbie Hummel on the floor. Instead, Minnesota allowed the Lakers to go on a 23-8 run to end the quarter and a once 29-point lead was cut to just 14 points after three quarters.
That also forced Adelman to play his starters more in the final quarter (though it did seem like he stayed with them a bit too long. It wasn't until the final three minutes that he finally pulled his starters and guys like A.J. Price & Derrick Williams entered the game to close this one out.
Ricky Rubio especially seemed as though he was on the court for far too long, with the outcome no longer in doubt. Though, with that extra time Rubio did take advantage and secured his second career triple double of his career.
Nonetheless, the Wolves walked away with the victory and they FINALLY snapped that nasty losing streak to the Lakers. The Wolves move to 5-2 on the year and they'll be back in action tomorrow night vs. the Clippers, hopefully Adelman's decision to keep his starters in and playing Brewer & Rubio 38 as well as 37 for Love won't come back to haunt them tomorrow night.
Let's take a look at tonight's box score...
Ricky Rubio certainly had the stat line of the night. His 12/10/14/5 is just the second player in franchise history that a player has posted a 10-point/10-rebound/10-assist/5-steal game. The other is (of course) Kevin Garnett. Rubio's 14 assists also ties a career-high.
The Timberwolves 19-9 fast break advantage and the fact that they shot a season-high 48.9% from the field and 50% from deep were keys to the victory in this one. Had the Wolves put up those 47 points in the first quarter and then went on to lose, there would have been big problems.
The Wolves scored 47 points in the first quarter and the Lakers scored 48 points in the first half. The Timberwolves are undoubtedly one of the NBA's premier offensive teams, there really is no doubt after tonight's outing.
I think one of the best parts about tonight's game was following the game on Twitter and seeing everyone's reactions--particularly some of the people that cover the NBA nationally. People are beginning to take notice and the #WolvesNation bandwagon is gaining more membership!
The Wolves are back in action tomorrow night vs. the Clippers at the STAPLES Center.
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!