The Timberwolves went into tonight's game having lost an incredible 22 straight games to the Los Angeles Lakers. They leave with a hugely satisfying 23 point blowout win that they dominated from the start.
The story of this game was the monster first quarter by the Wolves in which they scored 47 points, including a combined 34 for Kevin Love and Kevin Martin.
The 47 points set a franchise record for points in a quarter, and was only three points off the NBA record. The Wolves shot 16-21 in the first, and 7-9 from behind the arc. It was a comprehensive offensive display, especially from the two Kevins, who were draining shots from everywhere.
After the first, the Wolves were never seriously challenged, though the Lakers did cut a 24 point lead at the end of one to 19 at half-time and 14 at the end of the third quarter. However, the Wolves went on a 12-4 run early in the 4th to decide proceedings.
The entire starting lineup finished in double figures, led by Kevin Love's 25 and 13 rebounds, and Kevin Martin's 27. Nikola Pekovic added another double-double with 14 and 10, and Corey Brewer had another efficient display as he finished with 17 on nine shots and added four steals as well.
Though Love and Martin's shooting antics in the first quarter will be memorable, perhaps the performance of the night belonged to Ricky Rubio, who finished with his second career triple-double. He scored 12 points, dished out 14 assists, grabbed ten boards, and added five steals (and five turnovers) for good measure. He was a force defensively, disrupting much of what the Lakers wanted to do, and really drove the bus through the final three quarters, keeping the Wolves well in control and making several impressive plays to try to get Pek going.
If there was one disappointment on the night it's that the starters all went between 33 and 38 minutes, as it's clear that Adelman simply does not trust his bench guys, with good reason. Only J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham saw significant minutes off the bench (19 each). Derrick Williams, who missed the Dallas game with back spasms said he was good to go prior to the game, but was not inserted until the final three minutes of the game. Whether that was because Adelman didn't want to risk a recurrence or for some other reason I don't know, but they will have to find some bench minutes tomorrow night against the Clippers.
That is for tomorrow, however. Tonight, the Wolves got a big win against an injured, downtrodden team. Just like they are supposed to, and move to 5-2 on the year.