The LA Lakers took care of business against the sluggish Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night, blowing them out 127-91. Anthony Davis missed the game with a calf strain but they didn't need the seven-time NBA All-Star's services to seal the deal here. Karl-Anthony Towns was also missing with a wrist issue.
The tempo of the game was decided in the first quarter itself where the LA Lakers dominated the Minnesota Timberwolves 40-23. The Purple and Gold held on to their advantage from there on out to improve to a 2-1 record while handing the Timberwolves their first loss of the season.
The game was impacted by the key names both positively and negatively. Some rose to the occasion while others capitulated. On that note, let us look at the five hits and flops as the LA Lakers mauled the Minnesota Timberwolves.
#1 Hit: Kyle Kuzma (LA Lakers)
Kyle Kuzma has been impressive from the field to start the 2020-21 season and his offense was in full flow against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Taking the place of AD in the lineup, Kuzma made the most of the opportunity and went off for 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. In fact, 14 of these came in the first quarter itself.
Kuzma also managed three blocks and ended the night with a plus-minus rating of 38. He's already starting to justify the $40 million extension he signed with the LA Lakers prior to opening night and Frank Vogel will be hoping that he can build from here.
#2 Flop: D'Angelo Russell (Minnesota Timberwolves)
With Karl-Anthony Towns out of the picture, the Minnesota Timberwolves needed D'Angelo Russell to step up to the plate and lead his side to victory. Unfortunately, he just couldn't get the better of the LA Lakers defense.
Russell ended the game with four points on 2-of-7 shooting in 20 minutes. To compound his misery, he had seven turnovers. He looked out of ideas on the second night of a back-to-back and couldn't get his teammates involved either.