Here is a by-the-numbers look at the Lakers’ 106-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Lakers in double figures. The entire starting lineup scored at least 10 points, as L.A.’s starters poured in 73 of its points on 33-for-74 shooting. Along with Ryan Kelly (below), a trio of Lakers put on strong performances. Jabari Brown pitched in 20 points, while Jordan Clarkson tallied 18. Meanwhile, fellow rookie Tarik Black set a career high with 18 points of his own on an 8-for-9 mark.
“I was just in awe with watching (Clarkson and Brown) blossom right in front of my eyes,” Black said. “I know I’m a rookie as well, and I’m treating them like an older brother or a 10-year vet. But it kind of feels like I am, just watching them come into their own and establish themselves at this level.”
Points provided by Kelly. The sophomore recorded his highest scoring total of the season by going 7-for-12 from the field, including 5-for-6 from beyond the arc. Kelly did most of his damage early, scoring 10 first-half points and adding nine more with three triples within the first five minutes of the third quarter.
Ryan Kelly Shot Chart
Points scored by Andrew Wiggins. The Rookie of the Year candidate pushed Minnesota as far as he could by shooting 7-for-15 from the field and a career-best 15-for-16 on free throws. The 20-year-old did more than just score, as he also pitched in 10 rebounds and six assists.
Assists from the Lakers, which were a season high. L.A. recorded a dime on all but six of its baskets, as three Lakers had seven or more, including Clarkson, who led the way with nine. Three players also set a new career high in assists: Brown (seven), Kelly (seven) and Dwight Buycks (six).
“We’ve been trying to preach this all season long,” head coach Byron Scott said. “When you don’t have a dominant player, you have to move the ball. … You have to move your bodies. You have to sets screens. You have to do all the little things that get you some easy buckets and easy shots.”
Percentage shot by the Lakers in the first quarter. The purple and gold set the tone early by going 13-for-21 in the opening period. Led by nine points from Clarkson and eight from Kelly, the Lakers scored 30 in the first quarter. Ball movement was the key from the beginning, as L.A. had an assist on every basket except one.
“I thought in the first quarter we moved the ball about as well as we’ve moved it all season long,” Scott said. “I thought a lot of that had to do with Ryan. We were swinging it to him. He did a great job swinging it and running our pick-and-rolls, so we had good ball movement.”