The good news is the Lakers won their fifth game in a row. The bad news is Andrew Bynum went down with another injury. From the Los Angeles Times:
Bynum was running downcourt on defense, felt a brief pop and promptly checked out of the game before walking back to the locker room with 10:09 left in the third quarter. He stopped in the hallway because of the pain and slowly continued to the trainer's room.
Bynum has a strained Achilles tendon and will get an MRI on Saturday but Phil Jackson expects he will miss some time. And as for that good news? The Lakers blew a 13-point lead to the worst team in the Western Conference but hung on to hand the Timberwolves their 12th straight loss while winning their fifth straight..
The game began the way you'd expect when the best and worst teams in the West face off. The Lakers jumped out to a 28-15 lead with Kobe Bryant playing the role of facilitator. He had 7 assists in the first quarter and the Lakers led 31-20.
They held a 10-point lead at halftime but in the third quarter, the Timberwolves went on a 15-5 run to take the lead 68-66. During this entire season I have mentioned how Bynum has played really well in the first half of games and how he then disappears in the second. Well, last night he had 11 points and 4 rebounds in the first half but this time there's at least an explanation of why he only had one rebound in the second half. Bynum had been averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks over his previous four games. He had been the only consistent player as of late and now they will have to play without him.
The Lakers ended the third quarter on a 10-2 run to keep the lead at 10 and coasted to the victory. The Lakers didn't win this game as much as the Timberwolves lost it. They turned the ball over 19 times and the Lakers capitalized with 26 points off turnovers. Sometimes turnovers can be a sign of good defense, but many of these were unforced errors. There's a reason the Wolves are the worst team in the West.Now the Lakers will insert Lamar Odom into the lineup. At times the Lakers have looked like a better team with Odom in the game. He's always looking to push the tempo and that can create easy baskets in transition. Maybe a change in tempo is what they need. We'll begin to find out Sunday when they face the Wizards.