Kevin Love recorded his second career triple double and led the charge, as the Los Angeles Lakers were embarrassingly blown out 143-107 in a painful 48-minute contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
From the opening tip, the Lakers started slow and never offered defensive resistance. LA was down 20-4 before five minutes were up, and the team never recovered. By the time the first quarter ended, the Timberwolves had 41 points.
Love had plenty to do with that, as he notched 15 points, five rebounds and four assists in the opening 12 minutes. Nikola Pekovic, who had missed the previous six games, reintroduced himself by scoring 12 points on a perfect 4-4 from the field in the first quarter. Pekovic would go on to finish with 26 points with nine makes in 10 attempts.
Needless to say, the Lakers’ defense was weak, if not altogether non-existent. After all, the Timberwolves finished with 143 points in the game.
In the second quarter, the Lakers continued to fall flat on both ends of the court. At one point, the scoreboard read 60-30, as the Timberwolves doubled LA’s score. By the halftime intermission, Minnesota had 74 points. The Lakers were down 31, and getting Love his second career triple double was the only goal of the second half.
In the third quarter, Love helped increase the lead to 40 points. In three quarters of work, the talented former UCLA Bruin finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Add that he tabbed those numbers in less than 29 minutes and made three of five three-pointers, and it is easy to see why the Lakers expect to target the big man in free agency.
Despite emptying the bench in the fourth quarter, Minnesota’s lead grew to 41 points. However, not much mattered at that point. The Lakers had come to Minnesota on the second night of a back-to-back and fallen face first into the hardwood.
"I thought we came out unfocused and not ready to play," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said after the game. "We still got 10 games."
Next, the Lakers play at Staples Center on Sunday against the Phoenix Suns.