March 6th, 2007 was the last time that the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 22 games later the Wolves put a stop to that by beating the Lakers 113-90. The Wolves came in with something to prove, and prove they did… all in the first quarter.
Minnesota led 17-14 before scoring 27 of the next 29 points in a crazy 4:47 span, starting with three consecutive 3-pointers. JJ Barea then scored a layup and that put the Wolves up 44-16, and they finished the quarter with a 47-23 lead.
Ricky Rubio had 12 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves. This is Rubio’s second career triple-double with five steals, becoming just the second player in franchise history with at least five steals during a triple-double game.
Minnesota took a 28-point lead with a 27-2 run, leaving Lakers fans to boo during the highest-scoring quarter in the Timberwolves’ franchise history.
“We had lost so many straight to the Lakers that we thought we were due for one,” said Love, who also had 13 rebounds while hitting four 3-pointers. “We knew, the guys that had played here. We had talked about it, that we hadn’t had much success, but we weren’t thinking about anything numbers-wise. We just wanted to come out and think about this year.”
Martin had another monster game in his strong start to the season, improving to 18 for 28 on 3-pointers in the last five games while averaging 27 points.
“Everybody was making shots,” said Rubio, “We knew we’d lost the last 22 or something like that. It was a good game for us to end it.”
And concern for the health of Steve Nash is growing more by the day. Nash played for 13 minutes before sitting out with a back injury for Los Angeles.
Nash is the NBA’s oldest player at 39 and he will be evaluated on Monday by Dr. Robert Watkins, who performed Dwight Howard‘s back surgery last year. To be safe The Lakers have kept Nash out of the lineup twice already this season to preserve his health, but Nash’s back has bothered him for years.
“You could call it back, nerves, pain in the hamstring,” Nash said. “It all gets a little convoluted, but it’s all basically the same since last year. … I’m just trying to figure0 it out, trying to play through it and at the same time be smart. It’s tough. I really want to play. To be so limited is frustrating.”
Pau Gasol managed just 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who had won 13 straight at home over Minnesota.
The Wolves were hot from the start, with Martin and Love humiliating the Lakers’ defenders with a series of increasingly improbable jumpers and drives. Los Angeles largely failed to defend the perimeter, but Martin and Love also hit shots in tight coverage while making 12 of their 14 first-quarter shots.
“We came out soft,” Los Angeles coach Mike D’Antoni said. “They made some tough shots, but they did score 47 points. And I don’t care what kind of shots they made. There just wasn’t enough intensity into the defense, and we paid for it.”
The Timberwolves started to slow down form there but they were already too far ahead to be stopped. The Lakers managed to trim the lead down to 90-76 heading to the fourth quarter after 11 third-quarter points from Blake and nine more from Meeks, but Rubio and Brewer kept the Wolves ahead down the stretch.
Up next for Minnesota is the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center Monday night at 9:30 CST on Fox Sports North or WCCO 830 AM Radio.