Lakers’ woes go beyond injured players: Takeaways from loss to Timberwolves

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Lakers forward Anthony Davis, right, and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns fight for rebounding position during the first half of the Lakers’ 107-83 loss at Staples Center on Friday. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

The Lakers want to look at the bigger picture and how they will look when they are whole.

Yet on nights like Friday, when the Lakers are getting destroyed in the third quarter and when their effort is lacking, they are not “winning a championship the way we’re playing.”

That was how Anthony Davis summed up the Lakers’ 107-83 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center before 18,997 fans.

“Championship team — that’s not us right now,” Davis said.

Here are five takeaways from the Lakers’ loss:

1. Davis wants to “think about the big picture,” when LeBron James (abdominal strain), Trevor Ariza (right ankle), Talen Horton-Tucker (right thumb), Kendrick Nunn (bone bruise in right knee) and Austin Reaves (left hamstring strain) are healthy again and playing.

“But now in the moment is frustrating because we’re losing games and the way we’re losing games,” Davis said after scoring 22 points. “So, our focus now is just frustration, especially losses like this, because we know that we’re a good team. And you think about that long term and that big-picture goal. But we want to win now. And it just sucks because we don’t know our full team, our full capability of what guys bring to the team. But when we get everybody back, we know we’ll be a great team. But we still got to do what we do no matter who is on the floor. We still got to follow our principles on both ends of the floor and we lacked that tonight.”

The Lakers were abysmal in the third quarter, watching a five-point halftime lead turn into a 24-point deficit.

Karl-Anthony Towns tore the Lakers apart in the third, scoring 18 of his 29 points.

2. The Timberwolves had lost six straight games before beating the Lakers.

But the Lakers played like the losing team.

“We just got to be just locked in regardless of who we’re playing,” Russell Westbrook said after scoring 20 points. “Our opponent don’t really matter. It’s just more about us. We got to do a good job of kind of locking in on what we do and then let the results speak for itself.”

3. The Lakers made a change to their starting lineup, inserting guard Wayne Ellington in place of center DeAndre Jordan.

Ellington had six points on two-for-eight shooting, two for seven on three-pointers, in 27 minutes 51 seconds.

Jordan did not play.

“Yeah, there were some positives. There were some negatives,” Ellington said about starting. “Obviously, the game didn’t go the way that we wanted it to, so probably more negatives than positives.”

4. Carmelo Anthony has been one of the constants for the Lakers this season, but even he had an off night.

Anthony was one for 12 from the field, one for eight from three-point range.

5. Two other stats that stood out were the rebounding and turnovers.

The Lakers were outrebounded 54-44 and turned the ball over 20 times.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.



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