The Los Angeles Lakers gave up a career night to Ricky Rubio, and the Minnesota Timberwolves toyed with their prey in a 119-104 Lakers loss. Rubio was locked in from the start, knocking down four straight three-pointers as the Lakers failed to account for his strong start. He finished with a game-high 33 points.
The career-high Rubio replaced was previously set against, you guessed it, the Lakers. The purple and gold defense continues laying out the red carpet for their opponents.
It didn’t help matters that aside from Rubio going off, Karl-Anthony Towns (32 points) and Andrew Wiggins (27 points) were also ripping and roaring through the Lakers’ atrocious defense. Nothing could stop the Timberwolves, who avenged the overtime loss they suffered in Los Angeles a week ago.
The game started ominously for the Lakers, with Ivica Zubac going down with what’s hopefully only a minor ankle injury. The silver lining was Tarik Black getting an extended chance, and the big man out of Kansas was all over the court. He put in 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 22 minutes, making the most of one of his final chances to show his value to a new Lakers front office.
The Lakers’ offense wasn’t bad by any means, but their defense was just that bad in Minnesota Thursday evening. The Timberwolves drained 10 of their 21 three-point attempts, with even Gogui Dieng getting in on the outside shooting action.
Dieng had a solid game, logging 41 minutes for 11 points, 15 rebounds and six assists. Rubio also notched a double-double, dishing 10 assists to go with his career-high scoring performance.
Julius Randle led the Lakers with 12 boards and 12 points, Jordan Clarkson scored a team-high 18 points and D’Angelo Russell struggled for the most part. He finished with 14 points, but shot just 4-of-14 and had five turnovers to his six assists.
Until Saturday, when the Lakers “visit” the Clippers-clad STAPLES Center.