Scouting Report: Wolves (13-13) at Lakers (12-13) | Dec. 20, 2013

Scouting Report: Wolves (13-13) at Lakers (12-13) | Dec. 20, 2013


Timberwolves at Lakers | 9:30 PM — Staples Center

Where to Watch: Fox Sports North, ESPN

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

View Timberwolves Game Notes

Right when the Lakers thought they had gotten their best player back, things changed for the worse. Kobe Bryant missed the beginning of the season due to Achilles surgery and after just six games, Bryant is back on the injury shelf due to a fracture in his knee.

The Lakers need him, as they are 12-13 and 2.5 games back from eighth place in the Western Conference. The Wolves are 13-13 and are two games back. A Minnesota win would be the team’s second straight against the Lakers, and that’s saying something as they lost 22 in a row to the L.A. before beating them earlier this season.

Last Meeting

The two teams last faced off on Nov. 10 and Minnesota came away with a 113-90 win on the road, snapping a 22-game losing streak to the Lakers.

Kevin Martin led Minnesota with 27 points while shooting 3-of-5 from the 3-point line. Kevin Love added 25 points and 13 rebounds. Corey Brewer was efficient, going 6-of-9 from the field for 17 points. Nikola Pekovic finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. While all of those numbers are impressive, Ricky Rubio may have had the best night, finishing with 12 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds while posting a +/- of +27.

Blake led Los Angeles with 19 points. Jodie Meeks added 16 off the bench and Pau Gasol posted 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Lakers shot just 38 percent from the field.

This Week’s Results

Wolves Minute

Dec. 20, 2013

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Minnesota is coming off of a nice 120-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, who own the league’s best record.

Love nearly finished with a triple-double, putting up 29 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists. Pekovic led Minnesota scorers with 30 points to go with nine rebounds. Martin, who was a game-time decision because of a knee injury, was effective, finishing with 22 points. J.J. Barea led the second unit with 10 points.

Previous to that, the Wolves lost a road game to the Boston Celtics on Monday after beating the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

The Lakers are coming off of a 96-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. Bryant played the point, and finished with 21 points, five rebounds and four assists. Gasol scored 21 points while hauling in nine rebounds. Nick “Swaggy P” Young and Meeks finished with 18 and 13 points, respectively.

The Lakers are 2-4 in their last six games.

What To Watch: Nikola Pekovic vs. Pau Gasol

These two are two of the best international big men in the league. Gasol is more of a finesse player, while Pekovic is a bruiser. On the season, Gasol is averaging 14.7 points and 9.3 rebounds. Pekovic is averaging 16.6 points and 8.7 rebounds. Without Bryant in the lineup, the Lakers will look to Gasol for more of a scoring punch. It will be interesting to see how the two different players matchup in this one.

Injury Report

 The Wolves will be without wing Chase Budinger, who is out while recovering from preseason left knee surgery. The good news is that Budinger has been cleared to practice for Minnesota. Center Ronny Turiaf is out indefinitely with a radial head fracture in his right elbow. Forward Dante Cunningham (ankle) is also out indefinitely. After missing Monday’s game with a knee injury, Kevin Martin is questionable.

Bryant (knee) is out for six weeks. Blake (elbow), Farmar (hamstring) and Nash (back) are all out indefinitely.

Probable Starters
  Timberwolves Lakers
PG Ricky Rubio Xavier Henry
SG Kevin Martin Jodie Meeks
SF Corey Brewer Wesley Johnson
PF Kevin Love Jordan Hill
C Nikola Pekovic Pau Gasol


For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.