A little shades of the opening night game? Absolutely.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves played in yet another close game, with the Wolves escaping with yet another one-point victory.
This was a game for the Lakers young players to grow, as Kobe Bryant sat out the entire fourth quarter and overtime.
“Eventually, it’s going to be like this anyway,” Coach Byron Scott said of Bryant being benched late in the game. “Just so these guys can grow.”
Along with growth comes experience, and since it was a close, back-and-forth battle, the youngsters gained valuable experience.
It was an entertaining showdown between the number one and number two overall picks, especially down the stretch when the two were going at each other.
Coming off the bench once again, D’Angelo Russell finished with a new career-high of 23 points and scored the game-tying bucket to send the game to overtime. Meanwhile, Karl-Anthony Towns recorded a double-double of 26 points and 14 rebounds coupled with three blocks.
After Russell hit the game-tying field goal in regulation, the Lakers gave him the opportunity to shoot the game-winning shot in overtime, but Russell missed. However, the rebound landed in the hands of Roy Hibbert who missed his game-winning attempt as well, as the Wolves prevailed with a 123-122 win.
Kevin Martin, who was coming off a scoreless night on Monday, put in 37 points on 6 of 9 shooting from three-point distance in this one.
For the Lakers, Julius Randle came off the bench as well and notched yet another double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds. However, Randle missed a late-game free throw that would have tied the contest, as he shot an abysmal 6 of 11 from the line.
Lou Williams, who earned his second straight start, pushed in 19 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, also hitting a clutch basket late in the game.
Flying in and out of the rotation lately, Nick Young received 29 minutes off the bench and finished off the game, adding 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting.
Unfortunately, late in the first half Jordan Clarkson rolled his ankle and did not start in the second half. He suffered a mild ankle sprain after stepping on Andrew Wiggins’ foot and eventually returned to the floor, but was on the sideline throughout the fourth and overtime.
He was seen limping after the game and his status for the team’s next contest is unknown for now.
Speaking of the aforementioned Wiggins, he totaled 19 points on 7 of 16 shooting. It was certainly a quiet night for the 2014 number one overall pick, who was being defended by Young for most of the second half.
The Lakers have two more games remaining on their road trip, as they will be in San Antonio to face the Spurs on Friday at 9:30 pm ET, a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN.
The Timberwolves will clash against the Denver Nuggets on Friday at Pepsi Center at 9 pm ET.