Lakers at Timberwolves Game Preview

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

No Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, or Steve Nash for the Lakers tonight as the Lakers travel to Minneapolis to take on the Wolves.

In November of 2013, the Timberwolves ended a ridiculous 22-game losing streak to the Los Angeles Lakers, a streak that dated back to the latter stages of the Kevin Garnett era. Ricky Rubio had his second career triple double in that game, compiling 10 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists, to go along with 5 steals on the evening.

Rubio spoke to the media following the game:

"Everybody was making shots," said Rubio. "We knew we'd lost the last 22 or something like that. It was a good game for us to end it."

It was a silly streak that went on longer than it probably should have, and probably could have ended on a couple different occasions.This was no guarantee, but remember this "OH, ED MALLOY!"-esque moment?

Either way, the streak is now over, and the Wolves will try to win the season series tonight against an injury-plagued Lakers collective. Since the streak was snapped, a hot Nick Young in one game, and a hot pair of Kevin's (Love and Martin) in another have the series at 2-1 in favor of the Wolves.

Tonight, the Timberwolves will have the advantage on paper. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash have both been out for a good period of time, but Pau Gasol will also miss his second straight game due to issues with vertigo.

With the injuries, it leaves a lineup with of name recognition that Lakers fans probably aren't accustomed to seeing. In their loss  last night in Milwaukee, their starting 5 featured:

C- Chris Kaman

PF- Jordan Hill

SF- Wes Johnson

SG- Jodie Meeks

PG- Kendall Marshall

While their regular starting 5 has typically included Pau Gasol, it has not been an easy year for the Lakers, who are 24-47 on the year, second-worst in the Western Conference. If they do end up hitting that 50-loss mark, it will be the first time it has happened sine the 1974-75 season (though they lost 49 in 1993-94).

Even without Nikola Pekovic and Ronny Turiaf, Kevin Love and the Wolves will have an advantage on the interior, especially if Gorgui Dieng can continue the solid stretch he's put together since getting inserted into the starting lineup.

On the perimeter, the Lakers have a pair of scoring options in Nick Young and Jodie Meeks, who have shown the Wolves that they can put together huge nights from beyond the arc. Both of them, especially Young, are two of the streakier players in the NBA, but the Wolves' occasional ineffectiveness to close out three-point shooters may be cause for some concern for Rick Adelman and the coaching staff.

The game will be at 7pm tonight, and will be broadcast on FS North. We'll have game threads up later tonight.

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