Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Live Score and Analysis

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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Live Score and Analysis

The Minnesota Timberwolves scored a franchise-record 47 points in the first quarter en route to defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 113-90, on Sunday night.

Kevin Martin led all scorers with 27 points, Kevin Love had 25 points and 13 rebounds and Ricky Rubio posted a triple-double with 12 points, 14 assists and 10 boards (not to mention five steals) in the win.

Steve Blake led the Lakers with 19.

The Timberwolves shot 49 percent from the floor, hitting on 10 of their 20 three-point tries. 

Los Angeles wasn't nearly as efficient, shooting 38 percent overall and only 56 percent from the free-throw line.

The victory by Minnesota snapped a 22-game losing streak to the Lakers that dated all the way back to Mar. 6, 2007.

Let's examine how this one played out.

 

Scorching Hot First Quarter by Minnesota

The funny thing is, the Timberwolves only scored 66 points combined in the second, third and fourth quarters, but at that point, it didn't matter.

Minnesota had already done its damage in the first period, scoring 47 points and shooting the ball at a 76 percent clip. Love and Martin had 18 and 16 points, respectively, with Love hitting all four of his triples during those first 12 minutes.

By contrast, the Lakers scored only 23 points in the quarter.

It was an uphill climb for LA from the get-go, and it was never able to recover.

 

LA Turnovers Led to Wolves Transition Points

The Lakers turned the ball over 18 times, helping pave the way for the Timberwolves to score 19 fastbreak points.

Corey Brewer in particular consistently beat Los Angeles back down the floor, and much of his 17 points came off of leakouts in transition. He also forced some turnovers himself, recording four steals in the contest.

The sprier Wolves clearly had stronger legs throughout, and it showed as they constantly beat LA to the punch in the open court.

 

Lack of Efficiency by the Lakers

Once again, the Lakers did a whole lot of settling in this one. Also, once again, Pau Gasol did not play well.

Gasol, who came into Sunday night's contest shooting 35 percent from the floor, went 5-for-12, missing six of his last eight field-goal attempts. He failed to utilize his length and quickness inside to take advantage of Minnesota's slow-footed big men up front, and he never really asserted himself.

LA also did not capitalize on its trips to the free-throw line, going only 10-of-18 from the stripe. Not that those eight free throws would have made a big difference, but it's still a concern, as this has been an ongoing problem.

 

Steve Nash is Hurt Again

After playing 13 minutes in the first half, Steve Nash did not come out of the locker room after halftime. He was experiencing pain in his back and did not return.

This is getting very sad, as it appears that the two-time MVP and future Hall of Famer is getting closer and closer to the end.

When he was actually on the floor, he was very ineffective, throwing the ball away uncharacteristically and shooting 0-of-3 from the floor.

 

Wolves Dominated the Paint

For all of the talk that the Timberwolves couldn't protect the rim, it looked to be the other way around in this contest.

Minnesota outscored LA 50-32 in the paint, as its bigs and its guards were able to work their way inside with little resistance from the Lakers frontcourt. This has been an issue for Los Angeles since day one, and it is not going to get any better unless a move is made.

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