L.A. Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: Live Score, Results and Game Highlights
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Commentary from the L.A. Lakers 111-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center on Feb. 1, 2013.
The Lakers rolled to a victory over the Kevin Love-less Timberwolves tonight for a few simple reasons:
1) Dominant rebounding (57-40)
2) Good ball movement
3) Balanced team-effort scoring
The defense by the Lakers was mediocre, to allow 100 to Minnesota without Kevin Love, but at this point the Lakers have to be ecstatic to score a victory on the road, whether or not the Wolves had their best player.
LAKERS 111, WOLVES 100 — FINAL SCORE
While the Wolves are going to fall short in this game, you have to commend Rick Adelman's defensive adjustments. On a night when the Lakers couldn't miss, he took a collection of decent defenders and found a way to stop them.
Other than Andrei Kirilenko, the Wolves have no real lock-down defenders, but an effective zone put the clamps on Kobe and crew...just not enough to overcome what was a 25 point deficit in the second quarter.
LAKERS 107, WOLVES 96 — 1:14 4th
Remarkably, the Lakers could potentially put every single player whose graced the court (all eight of them) in double-figure scoring tonight.
Metta World Peace needs four more points and Jodie Meeks needs two more. I guess those kind of things happen when you play a short rotation and put up big numbers...
LAKERS 103, WOLVES 94 — 2:09 4th
With the Wolves having cut the lead to six points, the only thought that goes through my mind is "Oh snap, it's Kobe time now."
Whether that means Kobe getting his, or getting his teammates involved, it's difficult to bet against the Lakers in close games down the stretch.
LAKERS 101, WOLVES 94 — 3:59 4th
Third-year forward/center Chris Johnson has looked good despite the aforementioned defensive lapses. He hit a jumper to cut the lead to six points, before it was answered by a Kobe bucket, which tied the Mamba for seventh all-time in made field goals (tied with Hakeem Olajuwon).
The Timberwolves are out-classed talent wise in this game, but great strategy by Rick Adelman in addition to some solid team play have managed to get the Wolves back in this game.
LAKERS 94, WOLVES 90 — 5:48 4th
The most important part of running an effective zone is recognition on the part of the interior players as to when they should react to a swing pass or a beat defender. Minnesota's Chris Johnson doesn't seem to quite get that. Johnson is a fine player who actually has a very high PER (23.38), but he's not making the right decisions on the interior.
LAKERS 89, WOLVES 78 — 9:43 4th
Alexey Shved hit a three from 5-6 feet behind the line to close the third quarter, cutting the lead to single digits.
Shved has been a pleasant surprise for the Wolves and hooked up for a Russian to Russian alley oop with Andrei Kirilenko earlier in the quarter.
The Wolves are going to need to continue the tough zone defense in the fourth quarter to erase the rest of this lead. Oh, and rebound the basetball...
LAKERS 85, WOLVES 76 — End of 3rd
The Lakers just had five shots on one possession before making a layup. The Wolves need Kevin Love to grab those rebounds. The Lakers are out-rebounding the Wolves 39-27, and that's without their leading rebounder, too (Dwight Howard).
LAKERS 84, WOLVES 70 — 1:29 3rd
Andrei Kirilenko hit a three pointer from the left wing to cut the lead back down to 12, but the Wolves need to go on a big run (obviously) to get back in this game once and for all. Kirilenko has nine points on 4-of-7 shooting.
LAKERS 79, WOLVES 67 — 2:58 3rd
After drawing it to within eight points, the Lakers reeled off a 5-0 run and then the Wolves answered by setting an illegal screen and turning it over. Derrick Williams was the culprit.
LAKERS 77, WOLVES 64 — 4:38 3rd
Steve Nash ended the Lakers' drought from behind the arc with a three from the corner at the six minute mark of the third quarter. Still, with the Wolves 'D' closing out a lot of the good looks the Lakers were getting early, it's going to take more threes to open the zone up and get more opportunities on the inside for Pau Gasol and Earl Clark.
LAKERS 75, WOLVES 64 — 5:12 3rd
The Lakers have hit just 2-of-20 from the floor dating back to the second quarter. Everything that was going right early on just isn't. The ball is moving, but the right pass isn't being made as often, and they've gone cold from behind the arc.
Perhaps we saw this coming, but it's always hard to believe that things will fall apart when they're going well.
LAKERS 72, WOLVES 64 — 6:39 3rd
Another reason that Rick Adelman has gone to this zone, other than the lack of definability at their forward slots is their utter lack of answers for Kobe Bryant in the backcourt.
When they can throw the top two defenders of their 2-3 zone at Bryant, it's much more effective than assaulting him with mediocre Luke Ridnour defense.
The Wolves have made some great adjustments and it began late in the second quarter, as the Lakers missed their last seven threes of the first half.
Now, we have a game on our hands.
LAKERS 72, WOLVES 64 — 7:11 3rd
With the Wolves playing a zone, it hardly matters that they are starting two tweeners at forward. Neither AK-47 nor Derrick Williams has a defined position at the forward spots.
LAKERS 68, WOLVES 53 — 10:37 3rd
Now the fans at the Target Center do have something to cheer about. The zone defense the Wolves have employed is forcing turnovers, and Derrick Williams knows how to finish on a fast break. His exciting dunk cut the lead to 13 before a Lakers' bucket.
The Timberwolves gave up the most points in a half that they have this season, and the defense was just awful. The Lakers are moving the ball well and getting any shot they want.
Kobe Bryant's pass-first approach is continuing to yield great results, and anyone who doubted a player as good as Kobe could do something this innovative with his game just doesn't understand the game of basketball.
Look for Rick Adelman to continue the zone defense in the second half, as that seemed to limit the number of really easy threes the Lakers were getting, while also helping to mitigate the amount of penetration occurring.
LAKERS 68, WOLVES 53 — Halftime
Minnesota has cut into the lead—a little. When the crowd comes to life as the lead goes under 20, it's pretty clear they are just desperate for a reason to support their home team.
Even with the run, the Lakers have still out-scored the Wolves 27-21 in the second quarter so far.
LAKERS 64, WOLVES 45 — 2:44 2nd, Lakers timeout
Kobe Bryant seems to be finding the right balance between getting his teammates involved and looking for his offense. On his last two touches, he has threaded the needle inside on a pass and then on the second did a shake and bake to the basket.
When Kobe's diversifying his offense, he's even more impossible to stop (not that the Wolves have been getting many stops tonight, anyway).
LAKERS 64, WOLVES 42 — 2:57 2nd
The Timberwolves are almost scoring at a "normal" pace, but are playing almost no defense at all. The Lakers continue to get good looks from three and all over the court, and they aren't going deep into the shot clock on any possessions.
LAKERS 63, WOLVES 38 — 5:21 2nd
J.J. Barea just lofted up a no look pass that was about five feet too high for Mickael Gelabale. Then he looked at him perplexed as to why he didn't catch it.
LAKERS 58, WOLVES 32 — 6:44 2nd
The Lakers are 9-of-11 from behind the arc tonight and have 56 points with over half a quarter to play in the first half.
Surely they won't shoot 80-plus percent from three for the game, but how many points can they put up tonight? This is Mike D'Antoni basketball, at last.
But also: the Timberwolves look dreadful.
LAKERS 56, WOLVES 32 — 7:33 2nd
Earl Clark joined the three fest for the Lakers, and he's hit 13 threes so far this season. He's not a prototypical stretch-4, but he could become one with some more refinement on his jumper.
Either way, Clark ended up being a real steal in the four-team trade that sent Dwight Howard to L.A. (In fact, the best players from that trade were the throw-ins, with Nikola Vucevic emerging in Orlando).
LAKERS 49, WOLVES 31 — 9:30 2nd, Timeout in Play
The Lakers are really without size with Dwight Howard out. They're currently playing Antawn Jamison and Earl Clark at the 4/5 spots. That's not going to protect the rim.
Then again, the Timberwolves don't have any real options to send slashers to the hole to exploit it either.
LAKERS 44, WOLVES 31 — 10:07 2nd
When it rains it, it pours.
The Lakers' confidence is blooming and it's seeming to snowball into just about every possession.
They're shooting 71 percent from the floor so far in this contest, and hit threes on their last two possessions (Kobe Bryant, then Steve Blake).
The Wolves just don't seem to have any answer for the Lakers' offensive game, be it three-point shots or dumps inside to Pau Gasol (who has 13 points and counting).
LAKERS 37, WOLVES 24 — End of 1st
It's pretty clear that without Kevin Love (as they are tonight), the Timberwolves would be one of the league's worst teams. Granted, the Lakers have been playing better, but the Wolves without Love are pretty bad.
They're giving up second shots and the Lakers are getting whatever they want on the offensive end.
Meanwhile, on offense, they're just without any great options. Nikola Pekovic is a good player, but he's the best player on the court for Minnesota right now. Hence, the double-digit deficit.
LAKERS 27, WOLVES 12 — 2:44 1st, Timeout in Play
Earl Clark vs Luke Ridnour in a jumpball...
Result: Ridnour: didn't even jump.
LAKERS 19, WOLVES 8 — 4:49 1st
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