Pau Gasol and co. proved too much for the Timberwolves, as the Timberwolves were defeated 104-91. Again, this loss falls on the shoulders of the Wolves bench, who scored a combined 19 points. This has proven an issue all season. The Wolves bench can simply not get it done.
Kevin Love was fantastic as usual, putting up All Star worth numbers yet again. Love had 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 assists. Yet he shot a dismal 2-7 (28%) from behind the arc. Nikola Pekovic had another monster game with 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 steals. He took advantage of the Lakers playing small ball with Gasol playing the majority minutes at center, and had a great game in the paint. The Wolves struggled from behind the arc this game, only shooting 5-22 (23%). If the Wolves could have capitalized on their three point chances, the outcome of the game could have been very different.
Pau Gasol looked like his vintage self in this game, putting up a monstrous stat line of: 21 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 blocks. Gasol controlled the paint this game, and even ventured out to the three point line and knocked down a trey. Gasol was no doubt the best player on the floor this game, and showed off his versatility. Nick Young, otherwise known as Swaggy P had 25 points off the bench, including a few huge three pointers in the fourth quarter. Xavier Henry started at point guard for the Lakers because of the rash of injuries to Jordan Farmar, Steve Nash, and Steve Blake. Henry had 21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals in his debut at the point. Newly signed Kendall Marshall did not register a minute in his opening game.
This was a loss for the Timberwolves that didn’t need to happen. If the Wolves could hit their open shots, and get some production off the bench they could be an elite team. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that is happening with the pieces the Wolves have now.