Video Credit: NBA

New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Timberwolves – Game 5

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (0-5) | Minnesota Timberwolves (4-2)


The Lakers have now lost five straight to start the season for the 3rd time in franchise history after losing 111-102 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The LakeShow couldn’t contain Rudy Gobert, who ended up with 21 rebounds.


Lakers vs Timberwolves
Photo Credit: Abbie Parr/AP

The Lakers finished their first short two-game road trip of the season in Minnesota with the Timberwolves.

They brought Russell Westbrook off the bench vs. Minnesota, allowing him to play more as the primary playmaker for the second unit. Westbrook missed the Lakers’ loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday with left hamstring soreness.

Coming off the bench will snap Westbrook’s streak of 1,007 straight starting appearances, the third-longest active stretch in the league behind Suns’ guard Chris Paul and teammate LeBron James, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.

Anthony Davis was ruled out against Minnesota with low back soreness. James had concerns with left foot soreness and Westbrook with left hamstring soreness, but both were cleared to play.

Lakers’ head coach Darvin Ham remains hopeful that they’ll get Davis back for Sunday’s home rematch against Denver.

The Lakers rolled out Patrick Beverley, Troy Brown Jr., Lonnie Walker IV, James, and Damian Jones as starters. Jones was practicing with the first unit for the Lakers in their shootaround yesterday morning.

Austin Reaves started the last game in place of Westbrook but could only produce 8 points on 2-3 from three. Ham wanted to go with a different look.

Rookie Cole Swider, Dennis Schröder, and Thomas Bryant all remained out for this game. Juan Toscano-Anderson was also ruled out due to a left ankle sprain he suffered against Denver.

Brown Jr.’s wing 3-pointer was a welcoming sight in his first start as a Laker, tying the game at ten early in Minnesota. James also hit a 3 in the opening minutes, as the Lakers started 2 for 4.

Westbrook entered the game at the 7:28 mark in the first quarter, subbing in for Brown Jr., with Minnesota up 12-10.

There was good activity on both ends from Wenyen Gabriel as the Lakers countered an early Minnesota push with a pair of layups. First was Gabriel, then James off of Gabriel’s steal. They still trailed 21-16.

The Lakers’ bench held up well when James left the court for the first time along with Davis being out, narrowing the lead to just one before the 1st quarter ended with Minnesota up 28-25.

Westbrook, in this game, was also able to pass Robert Parish for 29th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 23,335 points.


The Lakers competed in this game, but the Timberwolves wanted it more.


Lakers vs Timberwolves
Photo Credit: David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images

The Lakers rallied to tie the game at 52 at the half, cementing a 7-0 run as James scored at the rim on consecutive trips, with Reaves and Westbrook assists.

Westbrook came off the bench and started 0 for five from the field, but he heated up and wound up with 10 pts and five boards in 13 minutes.

After Minnesota pushed its lead to 9 after James went to the bench, the Lakers got back-to-back scores in the paint and had one technical free-throw out of a time-out to try and trim the margin to 4 with 2:49 in the 3rd quarter. But Kendrick Nunn missed that free throw mentioned above

The Lakers trailed 78-75 heading into the 4th quarter after Westbrook missed a pair of free throws with 1.6 seconds left.

Westbrook brought some good energy in his new 6th-man role and seemed to be playing without as much pressure or expectation. Westbrook, at this point, did have 14 points, seven boards, and two assists in his 21 minutes off the bench, his best offensive game of the young season.

The Lakers continued to hang around, down just 97-92 after Minnesota had pushed its lead to 10 moments earlier with 4:18 still to play.

They now trailed by 6 with 3:33 to play after a pair of James free-throws got him to 27 points to match fellow No. 1 overall pick, Anthony Edwards.

The Lakers then trailed 103-96 after Westbrook split a pair of free throws (5 for ten on the night).

James poured in 28 points (10 for 24), seven rebounds, five assists, and four steals, and Westbrook put up 18 points off the bench (6 for 17) and eight rebounds. With Davis in street clothes due to lower back soreness, the Lakers lost 111-102 and fell to 0-5 on the season.


Some quick Takeaways


Lakers vs Timberwolves
Photo Credit: Abbie Parr/AP

Even though Westbrook didn’t start, he still played the 3rd most minutes, shot 1-4 from 3, 5-10 on free throws, and committed a team-high five turnovers.

James went 1-6 from three, dropping him to 10-41 through 5 games (24%). On the other hand, Brown Jr., in his first Lakers start, impressed Ham with his rebounding against Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert with eight rebounds. His 3-point shot was also on point. He was 4 for 6, with the rest of the Lakers 5 for 23 (21.7%).

Towns finished with 21 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Gobert had 22 points and a staggering 21 rebounds. Former Laker D’Angelo Russell chipped in 11 points, seven assists, and six steals.

Despite changing things up, the Lakers still couldn’t pull out a win, “It doesn’t matter who’s out on the floor, we’re just trying to find what works,” James told reporters after the loss to the Timberwolves.


The Lakers will now return home, still trying to win their first game of the season in a rematch against the Denver Nuggets Sunday, October 30th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Arena. The game will be available on Spectrum SportsNet and NBA League Pass.

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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