Wolves End Streak, Beat Lakers 113-90
Wolves End Streak, Beat Lakers 113-90
Ladies and gentlemen, the streak is over.
Heading into Sunday night at Staples Center, the last time the Wolves beat the Lakers it was Kevin Garnett’s final season in Minnesota. That was March 6, 2007. But as of Nov. 10, 2013, that 22-game stretch is in the past. The Timberwolves scored 47 points in the first quarter and really never looked back in a 113-90 victory over the Lakers—putting them at 5-2 on the season.
It was the largest victory over the Lakers in franchise history, besting the previous mark of 18.
The 47 points was a franchise-record for points in a quarter, and it’s the first time a team has scored that many points in a game since 2008. It really set the tone for a night in which Minnesota led by as many as 29, hit 7-of-9 3-pointers in the first 12 minutes and once again got scoring energy early and often from Kevin Love and Kevin Martin.
Wolves vs. Lakers
That duo scored 34 combined points in the first quarter—including 12-of-14 shooting and 6-of-7 from 3—and made it an awfully steep hill for L.A. to climb.
“We were on fire,” coach Rick Adelman said. “We were very active, and then we just shot the heck out of it. I don’t think they really knew what hit them when the two Kevins made all the 3s.”
That was just the start of it. Martin led all scorers with 27 points on 11-of-23 shooting on the night, while Love pitched in 25 points and 13 rebounds. Then there’s Ricky Rubio, who essentially was everywhere on the court tonight. He registered just the second 10/10/10/5 game in Wolves history—Kevin Garnett being the other in 1999—with 12 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and five steals.
Rubio picked his spots and, like his teammates, made plays at just the right times throughout the night. His pair of 3-pointers came when the Lakers were trying to mount a little momentum, and both he and Corey Brewer (four steals of his own) caused turnovers in the second and third quarters when the Wolves’ offense momentarily slowed down.
Brewer, who added 17 points of his own, was again active in transition and was the recipient of Love and Rubio’s passes on the fast break throughout the night. He shot 6-of-9 from the field.
Nikola Pekovic added a double-double of his own with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“Tonight, it was one of those nights where everything was doing well,” Pekovic said. “Everything is fine, everybody was playing. I think tonight, everybody—not just Ricky or me or Kevin or K-Mart—I think everybody did a good job. Whoever was in did a great job.”
Love said there wasn't much discussion about the streak, but it felt good once it was behind them.
“We felt that we lost so many straight to the Lakers, that we were due for one and we came up strong and we did it from the get-go,” Love said.
“We don’t want to be a losing team,” Rubio said. “Twenty-two games is a lot, and it can’t happen. We finished today.”
The Lakers got much of their offensive spark from Steve Blake, who finished with 19 points and hit 5-of-7 3-point attempts. Jodie Meeks had 16 points off the bench, Pau Gasol finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Nick Young, Shawne Williams and Chris Kaman each added eight apiece.
Leader(s) of the Pack: Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and Kevin Martin
We’re going the multiple route tonight, because Rubio had a triple-double and the Kevins fed off each other again early in the ballgame and really put the Lakers away by the end of the first. Let's start with Rubio. His 12 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds secured his second career triple-double and his first since March 12, 2013. Add in five steals, and he became the second player in team history (KG was the first) to put together a 10/10/10/5 game. Meanwhile, Love and Martin continue to be a dynamic duo that opposing teams are having a hard time slowing down early on this season. Martin finished with 27 points on 11-of-23 shooting—including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, while Love racked up 25 points and 13 boards and hit 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Highlight of the Night
Love hit 4-of-5 3-pointers in the first quarter, and a pair of them were on the wing right in front of actor Jack Nicholson. Nicholson, a longtime Lakers fan whose seats are courtside right next to Rick Adelman and the Wolves’ bench, had as close a view as you can get to Love as he showed once again the type of range he has as a stretch 4. He’s hitting clutch shots in front of celebrities this year—his circus shot late in Minnesota’s win at New York was right in front of Spike Lee. He high-fived Lee on his way back to the bench during the timeout.
The Numbers Game
Quote of the Night
“The Lakers are a great team. Big team, big history, and they’re great players, you know. So you have to be focused all the time. If you don’t score, we get a rebound and focus on defense. Sometimes if you don’t score, we was trying to stick out on defense.” — Wolves center Nikola Pekovic
The Wolves follow up tonight’s Lakers game with a 9:30 p.m. matchup against the Clippers tomorrow night. Both games will be on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO-AM. They then return home on Tuesday and have an off day before hosting the Cavaliers on Wednesday at Target Center. That game is set for 7 p.m. on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO-AM.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com