The Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves wrapped up a packed Christmas Day slate of basketball, ending the NBA night with a 121-104 Timberwolves victory. The purple and gold put up a valiant effort in the final minutes, making a brief run to scare Minnesota, but would come up short to lose their third game in a row.
The Lakers were without three starters Monday night, with Brandon Ingram coming up as a late scratch for the second game in a row. Jordan Clarkson, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Andrew Bogut stepped into the starting lineup, a group no Lakers fan had on their Christmas Day wish list heading into the night.
Kuzma piled in a game-high 31 points, continuing to thrive when given a run with the starters. Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson tied for team-highs of 23 points for Minnesota, giving Tom Thibodeau some warm-fuzzy Chicago Bulls feelings.
The absence of Brook Lopez is going to be painful one, especially with how little Bogut has been offering. Bogut was a team-worst -14 on the night, scoring no points, blocking no shots and pulling down just three rebounds. Considering Karl-Anthony Towns was an efficient 7-of-12 for 21 points and 10 rebounds on the night, the Timberwolves’ big man didn’t have trouble working around Bogut’s veteran skillset.
It was a sloppy game overall, with two teams simply trying to outlast one another through stretches. Minnesota had a clear advantage on the injury list, and the final score certainly reflected it.
And on that note, merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.