Fans clamored for Kobe Bryant in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, chanting his name authoritatively at Target Center, but Coach Byron Scott did not put the ever-aging star back into the game.
In the latest twist to a season filled with them, Bryant supported letting the young players finish the game.
“He said, ‘Coach, let 'em go. Let's see what they do,'” Scott said.
They managed quite a bit, actually.
It was a loss, like everything else this season, 123-122 in overtime to the Minnesota Timberwolves, but D'Angelo Russell had 23 points and Julius Randle had 20 points and 12 rebounds two days after they lost their starting jobs.