We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 120-117 win at Minnesota:
Points in the second half for the Lakers, a season-high (they scored 71 in the first half against Denver in November). Forty-one came in the third quarter – another season high – when L.A. made 18 of 25 field goals (72 percent). Kobe Bryant scored 16 of his game-high 31 on 7 of 9 from the floor during this span.
Minutes for Pau Gasol, nearly as many as he played in the previous two games combined since returning from a 20-game absence due to a plantar fascia tear on Feb. 5. Gasol started the game strong with the Lakers getting the 7-foot Spaniard involved on offense – nine points and six boards in the first – en route to posting 17 points, nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks for the game.
Second-chance points for Minnesota off 17 offensive rebounds that allowed them to keep close. In the fourth quarter alone, the Wolves grabbed seven offensive boards towards 14 second-chance points. Combined with employing the Hack-a-Howard strategy (2 of 8), the home team got the Lakers out of a rhythm offensively and managed to make a game of it in the final two minutes.
Turnovers for the Lakers – 15 coming in the first half – that Minnesota turned into 20 points. L.A. had come into the contest averaging just 15 per game, which ranked 24th in the NBA.
Rebounds for Dwight Howard, to go along with 25 points, five steals and five blocks. It was the 10th time in the last 13 games he grabbed at least 15 boards, a sign he’s feeling much healthier. The big man made his mark on both ends, particularly in the second quarter, when he posted seven points, eight boards and three swats (Minnesota shot just 8 of 22, too).
Made 3-pointers for the Lakers out of 22 attempts (45.5 percent). In three games vs. Minnesota this season, L.A. is 38 of 86 (44.2 percent), having made 28 combined in the previous two meetings. Toward the end of the third, the Lakers made three straight triples to extend their lead to its biggest margin at 15 points.