One night after losing to arguably the worst team in the NBA in the Milwaukee Bucks, it looked as if things couldn’t get worse for the Los Angeles Lakers. Then, they took the floor against the Minnesota Timberwolves and were embarrassed to the tune of a 143-107 final margin.
The T-Wolves, playing at home in the Target Center, exploded for 41 points in the 1st quarter in route to a 17-point lead, but they didn’t stop there as they put up a 33-19 edge in the second quarter to open up a 31-point halftime lead against the lowly Lakers. From there, it was an exercise in complete and utter cruise control for Kevin Love and company, and the final margin is almost irrelevant.
Speaking of Kevin Love, Minnesota’s All-Star forward posted a 26-point, 10-assist, 10-rebound triple-double on this night, and he needed only 29 minutes (and 10 shot attempts) to do so. Love’s statistical prowess has been well-documented this season, but this was a new level of ease even for him, and when you throw in a 26-point night from Nikola Pekovic in only 22 minutes, the Wolves had an utterly dominant effort inside.
Defense was (obviously) the disaster area for the visiting Lakers here, and the numbers are staggering. The T-Wolves finished the night having shot 67% (yes, sixty-seven percent) from the floor and 33-for-40 from the free throw line, and if not for 21 turnovers, Minnesota would have been a legitimate threat to score 160-170 points.
There isn’t a lot to be learned about the Lakers at this point, but this may represent rock bottom in a season filled with downturns in Los Angeles.