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

Matthew SchmidtFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2013

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers got revenge.

After suffering a 23-point drubbing on their home floor at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves back on Nov. 10, the Lakers pulled away late to beat the Timberwolves, 104-91, on Friday night at the Staples Center.

Nick Young led the way with 25 points, draining four triples and shooting 9-of-14 from the floor. Pau Gasol finished two assists shy of a triple-double, tallying 21 points, 13 rebounds and eight dimes.

Xavier Henry chipped in 21, as the Lakers shot 54 percent as a team.

Playing without Kobe Bryant and a true point guard in this one, Los Angeles was able to overcome 19 turnovers, 11 of them coming in a disgustingly sloppy second quarter.

Kevin Love dropped 25 points and 13 boards for Minnesota, which has now lost 23 of its last 24 meetings with LA.

The Timberwolves shot only 35 percent from the floor, capitalizing on offensive rebounds (22) and Lakers turnovers to stay in the contest up until the latter stages of the fourth quarter.

Let's analyze the keys to this one.


Vintage Pau

Gasol has certainly turned it up since he was mentioned as a potential trade candidate, and Friday night was yet another impressive outing for the Spaniard.

Gasol put on a clinic late in the game, scoring seven straight Lakers points during one stretch and going to work on Nikola Pekovic inside, utilizing his footwork to score over the burly Minnesota center.

Pau did an outstanding job taking on the role of playmaker, and although he turned the ball over seven times, you have to give him credit for stepping up in the absence of a true floor general.


Misfits No More

Nick Young. Xavier Henry. Jodie Meeks. Wesley Johnson. Shawne Williams.

No one wanted these guys, but they have certainly found a home in La La Land.

All five were superb tonight, with Young and Henry combining for 46 points, Meeks making big plays on both ends of the floor, Johnson handing out five assists and Williams grabbing nine boards in 20 minutes.

Each of them had a role against Minnesota, and that was just awesome to see.

Also, how about giving it up for Chris Kaman? The embattled big man had six points, three boards and a huge block on a Kevin Martin dunk attempt off the bench.


No Sugarcoating It: Wolves Couldn't Put the Ball in the Ocean

There were two reasons why the Timberwolves were in this game, one being that the Lakers turned it over a bit too much, and the second being that Minnesota crashed the offensive glass all night and drew some contact because of it (the Wolves went 20-of-25 from the free-throw line).

However, let's be honest: the Timberwolves did not play well offensively in this one.

For starters, Love and company had 17 turnovers themselves, almost neutralizing the 19 giveaways by LA. They also misfired on 17 of their 22 three-point tries and just had little to no flow overall.

Corey Brewer went 0-for-8, and while Pekovic hit the boards like an animal (10 offensive rebounds, 13 total), he shot only 7-of-18.