Timberwolves 113, Lakers 90

Forrest Lee, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- After losing 22 consecutive head-to-head matchups, the Minnesota Timberwolves finally solved the puzzle known as the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Timberwolves ended the longest skid in the NBA by an opposing club, rolling to a 113-90 victory over the Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday night.
Minnesota's last win over the Lakers was a 117-107, double-overtime decision in March 2007. The Timberwolves had little trouble hammering the Lakers on Sunday, though, bolting to a 28-point lead in the first quarter and coasting the rest of the way.
Guard Kevin Martin scored 27 points and forward Kevin Love finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves (5-2). Guard Ricky Rubio had a triple-double, scoring 12 points, dishing 14 assists and pulling down 10 rebounds. Forward Corey Brewer added 17 points, and center Nikola Pekovic had 14 points and 10 boards.
Minnesota also held a big advantage in points in the paint, outscoring Los Angeles 50-32.
Guard Steve Blake led the Lakers (3-5) with 19 points and eight assists. Guard Jodie Meeks added 16 off the bench, while forward Pau Gasol had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Timberwolves bolted past the Lakers in the opening quarter behind Martin and Love. The two combined for 34 points -- Love led the way with 18 -- as Minnesota led 47-23 after the first.
After guard Steve Nash hit a jumper to pull the Lakers to within 12-10 at 7:28 of the first, the Timberwolves went on a 32-6 spurt for a 44-16 advantage.
The Timberwolves hit 76.2 percent (16 of 21) from the field in the first, converting seven of nine 3-point attempts. The Lakers managed just 36.4 percent shooting (eight of 22) in the quarter. On the night, Minnesota shot 48.9 percent, while Los Angeles made 38 percent.
Although the Timberwolves cooled in the second, shooting just 34.6 percent in the quarter, they still managed a 67-48 lead at the half.
They led by as much as 29 midway through the third quarter before the Lakers made a run and cut the margin to 90-76 heading into the fourth.
A 14-4 run to open the fourth allowed Minnesota to push the margin to 104-80 and eventually hand the Lakers their second consecutive defeat.
NOTES: Minnesota coach Rick Adelman praised the early-season work of SG Kevin Martin. "He's helped us a lot. He's shooting the ball very well from the outside," Adelman said. Martin is averaging 23.9 points, and he is 20-for-35 on 3-point attempts. Overall, Martin was shooting 46.7 percent from the field. ... Lakers PG Steve Nash passed Shaquille O'Neal for 27th place for career games played (1,207). ... Los Angeles PF Chris Kaman started for the third consecutive game after coming off the bench in the opening five contests. He had eight points and five rebounds in 19 minutes. The 7-footer gives the Lakers a larger presence inside instead of 6-9 PF Shawne Williams, who initially started. Kaman also was the Lakers' most consistent shooter, notching 59.3 percent from the floor (32 of 54), which ranked seventh in the league entering Sunday's games.

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