Kevin Martin scored 32 points and Ricky Rubio handed out 13
assists to make up for just four points as the Timberwolves moved
back to .500 at 24-24. Corey Brewer and J.J. Barea scored 11 points
apiece for Minnesota, which posted a 53-38 advantage on the glass.
Nash (back) played for the first time since Nov. 10 and had seven
points and nine assists in 25 minutes while Steve Blake (elbow)
returned to the lineup for the first time since Dec. 10 and handed
out six assists in 32 scoreless minutes for the Lakers, who have
dropped seven straight. Los Angeles' injury-plagued campaign
continued with Pau Gasol (groin) sitting out the game and Jodie
Meeks (ankle) leaving after only one minute as Nick Young led the
team with 24 points off the bench.
The Timberwolves came out strong and never trailed, putting up 38
points in the first quarter and leading by as much as 25 points in
the second before taking a 68-52 lead into the break. The Lakers
crept to within 75-68 with five minutes left in the third but Brewer
hit a layup and Love buried a 3-pointer to push it back to double
[to top of second column]
Young's 3-pointer less than two minutes into the fourth brought Los
Angeles back within 91-84 but Minnesota responded again with a 7-2
run. Martin €™s jumper with 1:47 left made it a 105-95 gap as the
Timberwolves put it away, while the Lakers allowed 100 or more
points for the 15th straight contest.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Blake suffered a ruptured right eardrum in the first
half but played through the injury while F Jordan Hill did not
return after suffering a cervical strain. The Lakers (16-32) are now
tied with the Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz for the worst record in
the Western Conference. Los Angeles G Manny Harris recorded a
season-high 19 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
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