Wolves fall flat vs. Bryant-less Lakers

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 21, 2013 - 6:59 AM

They fell behind early, then fell apart down the stretch in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES – The last time the Timberwolves went to Los Angeles to play the Lakers, they set a franchise record by scoring 47 first-quarter points in a runaway victory that gave them a 5-2 season start and also offered Ricky Rubio’s second career triple-double.

Nobody was feeling nearly that perky after Friday’s 104-91 loss to a Lakers team that was missing injured superstar Kobe Bryant and played without a natural point guard.

Not Ricky Rubio, who missed Friday’s morning shootaround after he was up sick the night before but played 31 minutes on a night when he said understandably he had little energy and neither did many of his teammates.

“I didn’t have energy and I think the team need my energy today,” Rubio said. “Something didn’t feel good. I played through it. I wanted to play and I tried to do my best.”

And not Wolves coach Rick Adelman, either.

Adelman fairly steamed with anger afterward after he watched his team fall behind by 11 points in the first quarter and recover to lead by four points late in the first half before allowed the Lakers a game-closing 14-2 run that decided matter.

“No energy,” he said, echoing Rubio’s post-game comments but for different reasons. “We have to be better than that. We can’t come out and start a game like that. They outworked us all night long.”

Wednesday’s home victory over league-leading Portland pushed the Wolves back to the .500 mark, at 13-13. Friday’s loss sunk them back below it yet again while the Lakers, playing without Bryant and Steve Nash but still with Pau Gasol, got themselves right back to even at 13-13.

“Whatever your record, we have to understand that we’re trying to get somewhere,” Adelman said. “We haven’t arrived anywhere. That team just has the same record we do, so we have to take a long hard look at ourselves and find out what we want to do.”

Bryant will miss the next six weeks after he fractured a bone in his knee just six games after he returned from last year’s season-ending torn Achilles tendon injury. Nash has played just six games this season himself and remains out.

But Gasol, at age 33, just keeps going. Or at least he did Friday.

On Friday, he approached a triple-double with a 21-point, 13-rebound, 8-assist night that included 13 fourth-quarter points, nine of them during that deciding 14-2 finishing flourish.

Gasol came within two assists of his eighth career triple-double while the Lakers kept going without Bryant, Nash or point guards Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar, thanks to 25 points off the bench from Nick Young and 21 from impromptu starting point guard Xavier Henry, a 6-6 shooting guard in real life.

“You know, we keep going through different game plans,” Young said. “One day we had Kobe and one day we didn’t.”

Wolves star Kevin Love reached another double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds, but he scored only five points after halftime. Meanwhile, Corey Brewer, Dante Cunningham, Alexey Shved and J.J. Barea combined to shoot 6-for-31 from the field.

The Lakers played without their three point guards – all out injured – so they start Henry at the position against Rubio instead. The Lakers’ point-guard injuries concerned Adelman before the game because it left them with only big options — Henry, 6-7 swingman Young and newly signed 6-4 Kendall Marshall, the only real point guard of the bench — against his team.

Henry scored 11 first-quarter points matched up mostly against Rubio and the point guard-less Lakers recorded 13 assists on their first 16 field goals made and committed just three turnovers.

The Lakers led 15-10, 23-14 and 30-19 early and led 35-26 after the first quarter. Those 26 Wolves’ points were only 21 fewer than they scored in the first quarter of that November game at Staples Center.

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: LA Lakers 104, Wolves 91

    Saturday December 21, 2013

  • 'Father Time is undefeated,' but Kobe Bryant goes 1-on-1 against him anyway

    Saturday December 21, 2013

    LOS ANGELES – The Timberwolves on Friday faced the Lakers in Los Angeles for the second time already in the...

  • Recap: Lakers 104, Wolves 91

    Saturday December 21, 2013

    GAME RECAPImpact playerPau Gasol, LakersLos Angeles’ last star standing put up 21 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists and made...

  • Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Wolves star Kevin Love pulled a rebound away from Lakers center Jordan Hill during the first half Friday night, when Love scored 20 points. But he was held to five after the break at Staples Center.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Cleveland 45 3rd Qtr
Indiana 51
Washington 42 3rd Qtr
Philadelphia 47
Golden State 27 2nd Qtr 11:00
Toronto 13
New York 23 2nd Qtr 10:06
Detroit 32
Orlando 21 2nd Qtr 8:58
Atlanta 34
Charlotte 34 2nd Qtr 6:10
Boston 39
LA Clippers 2 1st Qtr 9:19
Memphis 3
Brooklyn 3 1st Qtr 10:50
Houston 2
Miami 5 1st Qtr 9:33
New Orleans 6
Minnesota 4 1st Qtr 10:04
Chicago 4
Utah 8:00 PM
San Antonio 9:00 PM
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Boston 1 2nd Prd 8:57
New Jersey 0
Calgary 0 2nd Prd 11:29
NY Islanders 1
Washington 0 2nd Prd 13:51
Carolina 1
Chicago 0 1st Prd :33
Tampa Bay 0
Colorado 7:30 PM
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 39 2nd Half 5:00
Cornell 42
Penn 30 2nd Half 16:52
Brown 49
Fairfield 34 2nd Half 20:00
Canisius 34
Manhattan 35 2nd Half 20:00
Iona 41
Saint Peters 27 2nd Half 18:35
Marist 45
Princeton 43 2nd Half 14:36
Yale 39
Ohio 0 1st Half 20:00
Akron 0
Dartmouth 6 1st Half 17:46
Columbia 0
Valparaiso 9:00 PM
Cleveland State
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 56 2nd Half 12:57
Xavier 34
Cornell 27 2nd Half 20:00
Harvard 23
Yale 19 2nd Half 14:30
(14) Princeton 45
Elon 30 2nd Half 12:17
Drexel 37
Northeastern 30 2nd Half 15:52
James Madison 43
St Johns 33 2nd Half 14:52
Butler 28
Creighton 50 2nd Half 12:35
Georgetown 42
Brown 35 2nd Half 13:57
Penn 54
Columbia 29 2nd Half 13:30
Dartmouth 39
Canisius 31 2nd Half 13:30
Siena 36
St Josephs Brooklyn 17 2nd Half
Western Carolina 45 2nd Half 20:00
UNC Greensboro 33
Colorado 9 1st Half 13:49
Arizona 9
Southern Ill 7:00 PM
Drake 9 1st Half 16:47
Wichita State 4
Indiana State 7 1st Half 13:20
Evansville 12
Illinois State 7:05 PM
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Utah 7:30 PM
(10) Arizona State
Providence 7:30 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How do you like the Kevin Garnett trade?

Weekly Question