National Basketball Association
Preview
Minnesota at L.A. Lakers
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, November 28, 2014
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California


The two teams with the poorest records in the Western Conference will try to earn a rare win when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. The biggest issue for Minnesota and Los Angeles has been their defense, as the Lakers came into Wednesday allowing a league-high 110.8 points a game, while the injury-plagued Timberwolves were a close second at 109.7. A bright spot of late for Los Angeles has been point guard Jeremy Lin, who has reached double figures in scoring the last three games while shooting 20-for-35 overall.

Kobe Bryant continues to defy the odds, most recently not taking a field goal attempt until about 3 1/2 minutes remained in the first half Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies before finishing with 22 points on 5-for-15 from the floor. Perhaps he was hesitant to shoot because he has made at least half his shots in a game just once this season. The Timberwolves have started 11 different players this season but only rookie Andrew Wiggins has started all 13, reaching double figures in a season-best four straight games.

TV: 10:30 p.m., FSN Northwest (Minnesota), TWC SportsNet (Los Angeles)

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (3-10):
Minnesota welcomed back Thaddeus Young on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks after he missed five games following the death of his mother, but backup guard Mo Williams was sidelined with an illness. The Timberwolves are already dealing with the long-term absences of Kevin Martin (wrist) and Ricky Rubio (ankle), while a third starter, Nikola Pekovic, is day-to-day with a wrist injury. Corey Brewer has taken the opportunity to open up his offensive game and he has reached double figures in scoring in six of the last seven games.

ABOUT THE LAKERS (3-12): Jordan Hill had his career-long streak of double-doubles end at six games Wednesday night against the Grizzlies, but he continues to perform like the team’s second-best player, with Lin closing fast. Hill hasn’t received much help up front from forwards Carlos Boozer and Wesley Johnson lately, as the two combined for nine points against Memphis. Ed Davis doesn’t have the offensive skills of Boozer or Johnson but finds ways to contribute, blocking three shots against the Grizzlies.

BUZZER BEATERS


1. Bryant went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line Wednesday, the first time he made at least 10 without a miss since shooting 18-for-18 the game before he suffered a ruptured Achilles in April 2013.

2. Minnesota has 10 losses by the end of November for the first time since 2010.

3. The Timberwolves are playing their first road game since Nov. 15, ending their longest home stretch of the season.

PREDICTION: Lakers 105, Timberwolves 94
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Minnesota 3-10 L3 2-5 1-5 0-0 3-10 0-0 0-6
L.A. Lakers 3-12 L3 1-7 2-5 0-0 3-12 0-5 1-12
Last Meeting
Minnesota L.A. Lakers
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/28/14 LAL 107 MIN 143 143 49 67.1 107 26 43.1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Minnesota N. Pekovic 26 90.0 8
L.A. Lakers K. Bazemore 21 50.0 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Minnesota K. Love 10 0 10
L.A. Lakers J. Hill 7 3 4
Assists Player  
Minnesota K. Love 10
L.A. Lakers S. Nash 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Minnesota K. Martin 217 46.9 54
L.A. Lakers K. Bryant 510 38.3 135
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Minnesota G. Dieng 142 59 83
L.A. Lakers J. Hill 196 82 114
Assists Player  
Minnesota M. Williams 97
L.A. Lakers J. Lin 104
Quickchart Matchup
Minnesota Off vs  L.A. Lakers Defense
99.9 Points For
110.8 Points Against
43.7 FG%
48.4 FG%
41.0 Reb
43.4 Reb
L.A. Lakers Off vs  Minnesota Defense
101.4 Points For
109.7 Points Against
43.8 FG%
50.8 FG%
43.4 Reb
41.8 Reb