If the NBA playoffs began on Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers would be on the outside looking in. The Lakers, currently ninth place in the Western Conference, complete their two-day road trip with a battle at Target Center in Minneapolis against the Minnesota Timberwolves, in 11th place in the west.
The Lakers' 100-89 loss Saturday night to the Milwaukee Bucks dropped the Lakers' road record to just 1-7 on the season, their worst start to a season since they began the 2002-2003 campaign 1-8 on the road. If there is one team to help the Lakers snap their four-game road losing streak, Minnesota might be it.
The Lakers have beaten the Timberwolves 15 consecutive times, dating back to March 2007. In addition, the Lakers have won seven consecutive trips to Target Center. But these Timberwolves are an improved bunch under new head coach Rick Adleman. Minnesota is 9-10 on the season, but they have won two straight and five of their last seven games.
Kevin Love is enjoying his finest season this year for Minnesota, averaging 24.9 points and 13.6 rebounds per contest this season. Perhaps the most impressive improvement in Love's game this year is that the 6'10" power forward leads the Timberwolves in both three-pointers made (38) and three-point percentage (40.4%).
Kobe Bryant passed Jerry West on Saturday night for the most free throws made in Lakers franchise history, and on Sunday is on target to pass another Laker legend for another team record. Bryant has made 9,932 field goals in his career, and with four more field goals made will pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in franchise history.
Sunday afternoon's 4 p.m. PST game will be televised by KCAL. For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.