The Los Angeles Lakers return home Friday night and have several winning streaks in play as they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers have won four straight games, building a season-high 2.5-game lead in the Pacific Division. They have won nine straight games at Staples Center, where they are an NBA-best 18-2 as the home team this season.
To top it all off, the Lakers (27-16) have beaten the Timberwolves in each of the last 18 games they have played, including 11 straight in Los Angeles. The Lakers have not been a very good offensive team this season, and have scored 100 points just 11 times in 43 games. But three of those games have been against Minnesota.
Both point guard Ramon Sessions and center Jordan Hill, acquired in separate trade deadline deals on Thursday, are expected to be available for the Lakers on Friday night. The Lakers are now without Derek Fisher, whose 915 games played are the fifth most in franchise history.
"Despite Derek’s presence, we felt we needed more speed and quickness in the backcourt," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said on Thursday. "There’s nobody we’d trust with an open shot (more) than Derek Fisher, but we felt from a defensive point of view and giving us some speed and quickness (the move fit)."
Minnesota (22-22) has lost three of four games and is on the third game of a seven-game road trip. They lost in overtime Thursday night 111-105 in Utah.
For more news and notes on Lakers basketball, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.