Chris Kaman, Robert Sacre, Pau Gasol
|W. Johnson||SF||C. Brewer|
|J. Hill||PF||K. Love|
|Pau Gasol||C||N. Pekovic|
|J. Meeks||SG||K. Martin|
|X. Henry||PG||R. Rubio|
Kobe Bryant: Knee Out
Steve BLake: Elbow Out
Steve Nash: Back Out
Jordan Farmar: Hamstring Out
Chase Budinger: Knee Out
Ronny Turiaf: Elbow Out
Lakers outlast timberwolves 104-91
By Joe Resnick
December 19, 2013
LOS ANGELES (AP) Xavier Henry, the fourth player to start at point guard this season for the injury-ravaged Lakers, scored 21 points and Los Angeles began another long stretch without Kobe Bryant by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-91 on Friday night.
The Lakers returned from a 2-2 road trip and ended a three-game home losing streak. Pau Gasol, the only player to start all 26 games for the Lakers, had 21 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Nick Young scored a team-high 25 points off the bench, including a 4-point play that gave the Lakers a lead after Corey Brewer fouled him behind the arc with 2:37 left in the third quarter.
Kevin Love scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and grabbed 13 rebounds for Minnesota, but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Nikola Pekovic had 22 points and 13 boards, but Brewer finished with just five points after missing all eight field goal attempts.
Point guard Ricky Rubio missed the morning shootaround because he wasn't feeling well. He played 30 minutes, finishing with six points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Bryant is expected to miss at least six weeks because of a fracture in his left knee, which occurred Tuesday night at Memphis when he fell to the court late in the third quarter of the Lakers' 96-92 win. Fourth on the career scoring list, Bryant finished that game, hitting a clutch 3-pointer to help seal the win. But an MRI revealed the bad news on Thursday.
Bryant missed the first 19 games of the season while recovering from surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon, an injury that occurred on April 12 - with two games left before the playoffs.
The 18-year veteran, who last month signed a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension at age 35, made his return Dec. 8 and played just six games - all in a span of 10 days. He averaged over 32 minutes in the last three while shifting to point guard because of injuries to Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar.
The 39-year-old Nash, a two-time MVP who hasn't played since Nov. 10 because of back and hamstring issues, has played as many games as Bryant - and will remain sidelined at least four more weeks with nerve root irritation in his back. Blake missed his fifth game because of a torn ligament in his right elbow, and Farmar sat out his eighth due to a torn left hamstring.
Beleaguered coach Mike D'Antoni used his 11th starting lineup, and Henry shot 8 for 19 and had four assists in 42 minutes.
The Lakers broke open a tight game with 3-pointers by Gasol and Young to help extend their lead to 100-91 with 2 minutes remaining. They outscored Minnesota 9-0 over the final 3:18.
Love powered the Timberwolves to a 53-51 halftime lead, fueling an 18-3 run with seven points in a 1:50 span to help turn an 11-point deficit into a 51-47 lead in the final minute of the second quarter.
NOTES: Henry was the 12th overall pick in the 2012 draft, by Memphis. His older brother C.J. was the 17th overall pick in the 2005 baseball draft, by the Yankees. ... This is the first time since moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles that the Lakers have failed to go more than a game over .500 through their first 26 games in back-to-back seasons. ... Love has fouled out only once in 313 NBA games. It was against the Lakers on Jan. 30, 2009 - as a reserve - in a 132-119 loss at Minnesota.
Copyright 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
All-Time Series Notes: The Lakers trail the season series against the Timberwolves 0-1 after
dropping their first meeting on Nov. 10, 2013. The loss snapped a 22-game win streak against
the Timberwolves, which is now the second longest streak in Lakers franchise history; ranking
ahead of their 19-straight victories over the Dallas Mavericks from 1995-99 but behind a
franchise record 24 consecutive victories over the Kansas City/Sacramento Kings from 1983-
88… At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 22-5 all-time against the Timberwolves and have won
13 of their last 14 meetings in Los Angeles ... In Minnesota, the Lakers have won 11 straight at
Target Center... In Minnesota 3/9/12, Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to
record 29,000 points (5th ever to do so)... In their first meeting of the 2011-12 season (1/29/12 at
Target Center), Bryant passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the Lakers franchise leader in field goals
made. In that same game, the Lakers posted zero steals for only the second time in franchise
history while Minnesota matched a then opponent franchise record for fewest turnovers in a
game with four (Oklahoma City tied an NBA record in 2012-13 against the Lakers with two
turnovers)… In 2007, Bryant scored 50 points 3/18/07 vs. MIN, becoming the first Laker since
Elgin Baylor in December of 1962 to post consecutive 50-point games as well as the first player
since Wilt Chamberlain in 1963 to follow a 60-plus point scoring night with 50-plus points ....
Additionally, Bryant’s 50-point effort matched Cedric Ceballos’ series record 50-point game
posted on December 20, 1994… The Lakers and Timberwolves have met twice in the
postseason (2003 First Round, 2004 Conference Finals). The Lakers defeated the Wolves 4-2
both times despite Minnesota holding homecourt advantage in each series.
Connections: Minnesota F Kevin Love and G Shabazz Muhammad played collegiately at UCLA. Love’s father, Stan Love, played 81 total games for the Lakers during the 1973-74 and
1974-75 seasons, averaging 6.2 points and 3.3 rebounds... Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman is from Lynwood, CA and attended St. Pius X high school in Downey, CA before playing
collegiately at Loyola Marymount… Timberwolves G Ricky Rubio and Lakers F/C Pau Gasol are both long-time members of the Spanish National Team and most notably were members of
Spain’s silver medal team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as Spain’s two-time (2009, 2011) Eurobasket Championship-winning teams… Lakers F Jordan Hill and T’Wolves F Chase
Budinger were teammates for all three of their years together (2006-09) at the University of Arizona. The Duo was also teammates in Houston for parts of the 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons
and all of 2010-11, with Hill being traded midseason on both occasions… Lakers F Shawne Williams and T’Wolves G J.J. Barea were teammates for part of the 2008-09 season in Dallas…
Lakers C Robert Sacre and T’Wolves C Ronny Turiaf both attended Gonzaga University.