They also almost collapsed in a big way, too.
Merely hours after finding out they had lost Metta World Peace for six weeks, the Lakers appeared on the verge of sticking it to the Timberwolves. Hopes of a blowout victory were dashed in the fourth quarter by a healthy dose of Hack-a-Howard and poor defense, but they still managed to emerge from Minnesota with a much-needed 120-117 victory Wednesday night.
Defensively, the Lakers were terrible. The Timberwolves aren't known for their offense, but managed to post 117 points. Los Angeles' rotations were horrible and their fourth-quarter rebounding was nonexistent.
Kobe, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash all showed up on offense, though, and the quartet carried the Lakers to a victory that nearly slipped away.
This win ensures that the Lakers won't drop out of eighth place in the Western Conference—which is huge. Just like the Lakers offense was in this one.