The Los Angeles Lakers are two games into their annual Grammys road trip, and in each contest, we’ve seen them give up big-time leads.
The Minnesota Timberwolves made things interesting Friday night, as they never quit after falling behind early. But the talent of L.A. proved to be too much, and the Lakers escaped with the 111-100 win.
L.A. began this game with all the momentum. The team made seven of their first nine shots and had assists on all but one of those buckets. It’s been painfully obvious that this group struggles when it doesn't move the ball, but teamwork and smart passes are what helped establish a 37-24 lead after the first period.
Three-point shooting was the other area that helped L.A. jump out to a hot start. While Minnesota was a perfect 3-of-3 halfway through the second quarter, Los Angeles was an impressive 9-of-11. At one point in the period, the Lakers had a 15-0 run, and it looked as if nobody could miss.
But as we’ve learned time and time again, the NBA is a game of runs, and the Timberwolves would get theirs before the half was over.
Minnesota put together a 14-1 run near the end of the second quarter, and L.A.’s lead was cut to 15 by halftime. Five minutes into the third, the Lakers had just four points on 0-of-6 shooting and were allowing Minnesota to get out and make plays in transition.
Despite holding a 29-point advantage at one point in the first half, the Lakers led just 85-76 heading into the final 12 minutes.
L.A. began the game 25-of-35 from the field, but went on to make just five of their next 33 shots as the fourth quarter began.
Fortunately for the Lakers, they were able to find their offense once again, scoring 26 points in the period.
This game was full of ups and downs for L.A.
While a win over Minnesota is good for the playoff race out West, the Lakers have to keep the wins coming if they want to truly challenge for a spot in the postseason.