With the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks both playing well and within one game of the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference, the white-hot spotlight was again back on the Los Angeles Lakers heading into their matchup versus the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.
Once considered a semi-lock for at least a playoff berth once they reached .500, the Lakers were seemingly on the precipice of tailspin mode. They had lost three straight games heading into Wednesday night, including two since the return of Pau Gasol. The team looked nothing short of disoriented on defense against Golden State on Monday, making the Warriors look like Florida Gulf Coast with as many lobs as they threw.
Mike D'Antoni's squad has done its best work with the walls closing in this season, and with the threat of a tie for the No. 8 spot, that was definitely the case at the Target Center.
On the other bench, Minnesota continues to slog through a disappointing season of its own. The Timberwolves have been bludgeoned by injuries all year long, leaving their promising core very little time on the floor. With Kevin Love and others still out for Wednesday night, the onus was on Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic to appease the home crowd.
Could they get it done? Let's take a look at all the highlights from Wednesday night's action and find out.